Benedictine Monk and Historian (672-735)
+ Bede was born in Northumbria in 672. As a child he was offered to the Monastery of Saints Peter and Paul, and it was there he spent the remainder of his life.
+ Ordained a priest in 702, Bede was an eminent scholar and historian who helped assimilate Western Christianity into the un-Romanized North.
+ Renowned for his love of teaching and learning, he was known for his modesty and for the joy with which he lived out his monastic vocation. Bede is especially remembered for his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, and his other writings include commentaries on Sacred Scripture, history and lives of the Saints.
+ Saint Bede died in 735, surrounded by his brother monks. Upon hearing the news of his death, Saint Boniface of Mainz exclaimed, “The candle of the Church, lit by the Holy Spirit, is extinguished.”
+ Saint Bede was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church—called the Anglorum Doctor (“Doctor of the English”)—in 1899. He is honored as a patron saint of historians.
For prayer and reflection
“We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God. And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.”—1 Corinthians 2:12-13
On this day, the Church also remembers Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat. The founder of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, Saint Madeleine Sophie is remembered for her desire to meet the needs of the Church of her time by providing a body of highly trained and dedicated teaching sisters. Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat died in 1865 and was canonized in 1925.
O God, who bring light to your Church
through the learning of the Priest Saint Bede,
mercifully grant that your servants
may always be enlightened by his wisdom and helped by his merits.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.