Saint Bede said of his life, “I have spent the whole of my life . . . devoting all of my pains to the study of the Scriptures, and amid the observances of monastic discipline and the daily task of singing in church, it has ever been my delight to learn or teach or write.” Here was a saint who worked no miracles, saw no visions, and found no new way to God. He won heaven by doing the will of God.
Bede was probably born in 672 in England and by the age of seven was in the monastery school. At 29, he was ordained a priest. His gifts for writing and teaching were noticed immediately. He composed 45 books. Thirty were commentaries on Scripture; others were on the lives of the saints and secular subjects. His most widely recognized work was the Ecclesiastical History of the English People, a history of the Church of early England and Ireland. Bede’s whole life was dedicated to faith and learning. He died as simply as he had lived. He summoned the monks to his bed, gave them each homemade gifts, dictated the last line of his book to his secretary, and died singing the Glory Be, his favorite hymn. Saint Bede is the patron of historians.
Excerpted from Christ Our Life, by Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio
Image credit: Depiction of the Venerable Bede by unknown artist, 1493. Public Domain via Wikimedia.