Feast of the Venerable Bede
Today is the feast day of one of those saints who is very dear to me personally, St Bede the Venerable. I often joke that England has two Doctors of the Church while Ireland, that has many more saints, has none.
I have been to Durham Cathedral to visit the tomb of St Bede and I have knelt and said a prayer at his grave. The cathedral, which was once an Augustinian monastery, is now in the hands of the Church of England, part of the Anglican Communion.
There is one reading by the Venerable Bede that means a lot to me. In it St Bede says that from very ancient times the Magnificat has been said at Evening Prayer every evening. He does not say when the tradition began but when I read the article I realized that when we say Evening Prayer we are saying the same prayers that have been said over and over again in every generation of the Church going back to at least AD700 when Bede was around.
The Venerable Bede is also famous for writing out a list of all the saints. In the list, the feast from Christmas Day to New Year’s Day are the same as they are now. Also, even way back in AD700, St Patrick’s Day was celebrated on March 17th, which means that within 175 years of his death the feast day of St Patrick was already laid down.
Bede had a brilliant intellect and wrote many works on the history of the Church and also many articles explaining the scriptures and the writings of the Fathers. He died in the year 735AD.
If ever you get to Durham Cathedral go to visit his tomb, it is well worth the effort.