A History of the English Church and People

A History of the English Church and People

A History of the English Church and People

A History of the English Church and People

Excerpt

Bede (Baeda) was probably born in the year of the Council of Hertford (A.D. 673) on lands that were shortly afterwards granted by King Egfrid of Northumbria to S. Benedict Biscop's new monastery of Saint Peter at Wearmouth. He himself tells us (v. 24) that when he reached the age of seven, his parents -- of whom we know nothing -- placed him under the care of Abbot Benedict for his education and upbringing. But when the monastery of Saint Paul was established as a joint-foundation at Jarrow in the year 682, Bede seems to have been transferred to the care of its first abbot, Ceolfrid, and to have remained a monk there for the remainder of his life.

To have served under abbots of such learning and ability as Benedict and such holiness as Ceolfrid (whose biographies Bede was to write in his Lives of the Abbots) can have had no small influence on Bede's own life and activities, and his own inborn love of learning and devotion to the spiritual life must have received constant stimulation and encouragement. A touching incident which almost certainly refers to Bede's boyhood is preserved in the anonymous Life of Abbot Ceolfrid, which tells how the plague of 686 attacked Ceolfrid's monastery and swept away all the choir monks capable of maintaining the regular services of the Church 'with the exception of the Abbot himself and one boy reared and educated by him, who is now a priest of the same monastery and commends the Abbot's admirable doings both verbally and in writing to all who desire to learn them. Greatly distressed by this catastrophe, the Abbot decided to discontinue their usual practice, and to recite and sing all the psalms without antiphons except at Vespers and Matins. But when they had done this for a week with great sorrow and regret, he could bear it no longer and directed that the psalms and their antiphons were to be restored in their appointed course. So with the help of all . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.