Feast of the Venerable Bede of Jarrow (May 25)   1 comment

Venerable Bede

Priest, and Monk of Jarrow; died in 735

I like a good religious scholar.



From the New Zealand Anglicans:

The Venerable Bede is remembered principally for his Ecclesiastical History of the English People. His talents reached far beyond that however, though it remains his outstanding work and most significant contribution to the story of the church.

Bede was born about 673 near Sunderland. At the age of seven he was placed in the monastery at Wearmouth under the care of Benedict Biscop. Biscop had become the founder and abbot of Wearmouth in 674, and developed there a great centre of art and learning, based on the enormous collection of books he gathered from his visits to Rome and elsewhere. In 682 he founded the monastery of Jarrow and placed Bede there under the abbot, Ceolfrith. Bede spent the remainder of his life at Jarrow, never travelling further from it than, perhaps, Lindisfarne or York. Probably because of exceptional progress in his studies, he was ordained deacon at the age of 19. He was ordained priest about 703 at the age of 30.

Bede used the library gathered by Benedict Biscop and Ceolfrith to the full, and became the greatest scholar of the western church of his time. He wrote extensively on chronology and on the lives of the saints and on the abbots of Wearmouth and Jarrow, and provided extensive commentaries on Scripture, based on earlier patristic writings. His works on chronology are of significance because they helped to establish the custom of dating events from the birth of Jesus. The crown of his work was his Ecclesiastical History. It is an outstanding work because of Bede’s careful attention to sources and his judicious and charitable treatment of contentious points. It is, within the limits of the information available to him, reliable and accurate. For the sixth and seventh centuries it remains the major source of English history.

The character of Bede is evident in his works: he was an ardent and careful scholar. He did his work, he says, “amid the observance of monastic discipline and the daily singing in church”. He remained a devout scholar to the end, dictating his vernacular translation of John’s Gospel on his death-bed. He died in 735. The title “Venerable” (meaning “revered”) was ascribed to him more than a century later and indicates the respect with which he was regarded.

For Liturgical Use

Bede was born about 673 and, as a boy, was educated first in the monastery at Wearmouth and then at Jarrow, where he remained till his death in 735. He used the extensive library at Jarrow to the full and became the greatest European scholar of his day. He is best known for his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, but wrote extensively on many subjects. The title “Venerable” ascribed to him a century later indicates the respect in which he was held.


Heavenly Father, you called your servant Bede, while still a child, to devote his life to your service in the disciplines of religion and scholarship: Grant that as he labored in the Spirit to bring the riches of your truth to his generation, so we, in our various vocations, may strive to make you known in all the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Wisdom of Solomon 7:15-22

Psalm 78:1-4

1 Corinthians 15:1-8

Matthew 13:47-52


Posted October 5, 2009 by neatnik2009 in May, Saints of the 600s, Saints of the 700s

One response to “Feast of the Venerable Bede of Jarrow (May 25)

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  1. Pingback: Feast of Sts. Bosa of York, John of Beverley, Wilfrid the Younger, and Acca of Hexham (April 29) « SUNDRY THOUGHTS OF KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

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