Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Wednesday 31 May |
The Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Why is St. Bede called “venerable”?

Venerable Bede

Lawrence OP | Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

Philip Kosloski - published on 05/25/22

St. Bede was called "venerable" during the first centuries after his death, though this title shouldn't be confused with the "venerable" status of those on the road to sainthood.

What can God do in your life with one Bible verse a day?
Subscribe to Aleteia's new service and bring Scripture into your morning:
Just one verse each day.
Click to bring God's word to your inbox

Often saints will acquire various titles or nicknames after their death, and St. Bede was one of them. He was quickly labeled “venerable,” a title that can be confusing, as the modern canonization process recognizes men and women who lived a heroic life as “venerable.”

St. Bede was called “venerable” rather quickly after his death, and a legend was formed that helped explain the title.

The Catholic Encyclopedia explains this legend and why St. Bede was called “venerable.”

The title Venerabilis [Venerable] seems to have been associated with the name of Bede within two generations after his death. There is of course no early authority for the legend repeated by Fuller of the “dunce-monk” who in composing an epitaph on Bede was at a loss to complete the line: Hac sunt in fossa Bedae . . . . ossa and who next morning found that the angels had filled the gap with the word venerabilis[venerable]. The title is used by Alcuin, Amalarius and seemingly Paul the Deacon, and the important Council of Aachen in 835 describes him as venerabilis [venerable] et modernis temporibus doctor admirabilis Beda.

In St. Bede’s case, “venerable” simply refers to his holiness and character, rather than a part of an official cause of canonization.

Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.