The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI.
OF THE HEAVENLY LTGHT THAT APPEARED ALL THE NIGHT OVER
THE BONES OF KING OSWALD, AND THAT PERSONS POSSESSED
WITH DEVILS WERE DELIVERED BY THEM.

Among the rest, I think we ought not to pass over, in silence, the heavenly favours and miracles that were shown when King Oswald's bones were found, and translated into the church where they are now preserved. This was done by Osfrida, Queen of the Mercians, the daughter of his brother Oswin, who reigned after him, as shall be said hereafter. There is a noble monastery in the province of Lindsey, called Beardaneu, which that queen and her husband Ethelfrid much loved, and conferred upon it many honours and ornaments. It was here that she was desirous to lay the venerable bones of her uncle. When the waggon in which those bones were carried arrived towards evening at the aforesaid monastery, they that were in it refused to admit them, because, though they knew him to be a holy man, yet, as he was originally of another province, and had reigned over them as a foreign king, they retained their ancient aversion to him even after death. Thus it came to pass that the relics were left in the open air all that night, with only a large tent spread over them; but the appearance of a heavenly miracle showed with how much reverence they ought to be received by all the faithful; for during that whole night, a pillar of light, reaching from the waggon up to heaven, was seen by almost all the inhabitants of the province of Lindsey. Hereupon in the morning, the brethren who had refused it the day before, began themselves earnestly to pray that those holy relics, so beloved by God, might be deposited among them. Accordingly, the bones, being washed, were put into a shrine which they had made for that purpose, and placed in the

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