St. Bede the Venerable – 25 May

bede

This saint was famous as a priest, a monk, a teacher and a writer of history. He was born in England around 672. His parents sent Bede to school at the nearby Benedictine monastery. He loved the life of the monks so much that when he grew up he too became a monk. He remained in that same monastery for the rest of his life.

Bede loved the Holy Bible very much. He tells us that it was a joy for him to study the Bible. He loved to teach it and write about it. When he grew older, sickness forced him to stay in bed. His pupils came to study by his bedside. He kept on teaching them and working on his translation of St. John’s Gospel into English. Many people could not read Latin. He wanted them to be able to read the words of Jesus in their own language.

As he grew sicker, Bede realised that he was about to go back to God. He kept on working even when he was seriously ill. At last, the boy who was doing the writing for him said, “There is still one sentence, dear Father, which is not written down.” “Write it quickly,” answered the saint. When the boy said, “It is finished,” the saint said, “Good! You are right—it is finished. Now please hold my head up. I want to sit facing the place where I used to pray. I want to call on my heavenly Father.”

Bede died shortly after, on May 25, 735. He is thought to be the most learned man of his time. His most famous book, Church History of the English People, is the only source for much of early English history. People call Bede by the respectful title of “venerable.” He is also a Doctor of the Church.

St. Bede pray for us.