|Who is it?||Saint|
|Birth Place||Jarrow, British|
|Died On||26 May 735 (aged 61 or 62)\nJarrow, Kingdom of Northumbria (present-day Tyne and Wear, England)|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion, and Lutheranism|
|Canonized||Declared a Doctor of the Church in 1899 by Pope Leo XIII, Rome|
|Major shrine||Durham Cathedral, Durham, County Durham, England|
|Feast||25 May (Western Churches) 27 May (Orthodox Church and the General Roman Calendar from 1899–1969)|
|Patronage||English writers and historians; Jarrow, Tyne and Wear, England, San Beda College|
And he used to repeat that sentence from St. Paul "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God," and many other verses of Scripture, urging us thereby to awake from the slumber of the soul by thinking in good time of our last hour. And in our own language,—for he was familiar with English poetry,—speaking of the soul's dread departure from the body:
Fore ðæm nedfere nænig wiorðe
ðonc snottora ðon him ðearf siæ
to ymbhycgenne ær his hinionge
hwæt his gastæ godes oððe yfles
æfter deað dæge doemed wiorðe.
Facing that enforced journey, no man can be
More prudent than he has good call to be,
If he consider, before his going hence,
What for his spirit of good hap or of evil
After his day of death shall be determined.
His feast day was included in the General Roman Calendar in 1899, for celebration on 27 May rather than on his date of death, 26 May, which was then the feast day of Pope Saint Gregory VII. He is venerated in both the Anglican and Roman Catholic Church, with a feast day of 25 May, and in the Eastern Orthodox Church, with a feast day on 27 May.
Bede died on the Feast of the Ascension, Thursday, 26 May 735, on the floor of his cell, singing "Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit" and was buried at Jarrow. Cuthbert, a disciple of Bede's, wrote a letter to a Cuthwin (of whom nothing else is known), describing Bede's last days and his death. According to Cuthbert, Bede fell ill, "with frequent attacks of breathlessness but almost without pain", before Easter. On the Tuesday, two days before Bede died, his breathing became worse and his feet swelled. He continued to dictate to a scribe, however, and despite spending the night awake in prayer he dictated again the following day. At three o'clock, according to Cuthbert, he asked for a box of his to be brought, and distributed among the Priests of the monastery "a few treasures" of his: "some pepper, and napkins, and some incense". That night he dictated a final sentence to the scribe, a boy named Wilberht, and died soon afterwards. The account of Cuthbert does not make entirely clear whether Bede died before midnight or after. However, by the reckoning of Bede's time, passage from the old day to the new occurred at sunset, not midnight, and Cuthbert is clear that he died after sunset. Thus, while his box was brought at three o'clock Wednesday afternoon the 25th, by the time of the final dictation it might be considered already Thursday in that ecclesiastical sense, although the 25th in the ordinary sense.
Bede's reputation as a Historian, based mostly on the Historia Ecclesiastica, remains strong; Historian Walter Goffart says of Bede that he "holds a privileged and unrivalled place among first historians of Christian Europe". His life and work have been celebrated with the annual Jarrow Lecture, held at St. Paul's Church, Jarrow, since 1958. The English Heritage Organization created Jarrow Hall (previously known as Bede's World), a museum that celebrates the history of Bede and other parts of English heritage.
In about 701 Bede wrote his first works, the De Arte Metrica and De Schematibus et Tropis; both were intended for use in the classroom. He continued to write for the rest of his life, eventually completing over 60 books, most of which have survived. Not all his output can be easily dated, and Bede may have worked on some texts over a period of many years. His last-surviving work is a letter to Ecgbert of York, a former student, written in 734. A 6th-century Greek and Latin manuscript of Acts of the Apostles that is believed to have been used by Bede survives and is now in the Bodleian Library at University of Oxford; it is known as the Codex Laudianus. Bede may also have worked on one of the Latin bibles that were copied at Jarrow, one of which is now held by the Laurentian Library in Florence. Bede was a Teacher as well as a writer; he enjoyed music, and was said to be accomplished as a singer and as a reciter of poetry in the vernacular. It is possible that he suffered a speech impediment, but this depends on a phrase in the introduction to his verse life of Saint Cuthbert. Translations of this phrase differ, and it is uncertain whether Bede intended to say that he was cured of a speech Problem, or merely that he was inspired by the saint's works.
Bede became known as Venerable Bede (Lat.: Beda Venerabilis) by the 9th century because of his holiness, but this was not linked to consideration for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church. According to a legend the epithet was miraculously supplied by angels, thus completing his unfinished epitaph. It is first utilised in connection with Bede in the 9th century, where Bede was grouped with others who were called "venerable" at two ecclesiastical councils held at Aachen in 816 and 836. Paul the Deacon then referred to him as venerable consistently. By the 11th and 12th century, it had become commonplace. However, there are no descriptions of Bede by that term right after his death.
Both types of Bede's theological works circulated widely in the Middle Ages. A number of his biblical commentaries were incorporated into the Glossa Ordinaria, an 11th-century collection of biblical commentaries. Some of Bede's homilies were collected by Paul the Deacon, and they were used in that form in the Monastic Office. Saint Boniface used Bede's homilies in his missionary efforts on the continent.
As Chapter 66 of his On the Reckoning of Time, in 725 Bede wrote the Greater Chronicle (chronica maiora), which sometimes circulated as a separate work. For recent events the Chronicle, like his Ecclesiastical History, relied upon Gildas, upon a version of the Liber Pontificalis current at least to the papacy of Pope Sergius I (687–701), and other sources. For earlier events he drew on Eusebius's Chronikoi Kanones. The dating of events in the Chronicle is inconsistent with his other works, using the era of creation, the Anno Mundi.
Bede sometimes included in his theological books an acknowledgement of the predecessors on whose works he drew. In two cases he left instructions that his marginal notes, which gave the details of his sources, should be preserved by the copyist, and he may have originally added marginal comments about his sources to others of his works. Where he does not specify, it is still possible to identify books to which he must have had access by quotations that he uses. A full catalogue of the library available to Bede in the monastery cannot be reconstructed, but it is possible to tell, for Example, that Bede was very familiar with the works of Virgil. There is little evidence that he had access to any other of the pagan Latin writers—he quotes many of these Writers but the quotes are almost all to be found in the Latin grammars that were Common in his day, one or more of which would certainly have been at the monastery. Another difficulty is that manuscripts of early Writers were often incomplete: it is apparent that Bede had access to Pliny's Encyclopedia, for Example, but it seems that the version he had was missing book xviii, as he would almost certainly have quoted from it in his De temporum ratione.