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St. Aidan, Abbot-Bishop of Lindisfarne

VII Century
A native of Ireland, St. Aidan (Aedhan) is said to have studied with St. Senan at Iniscathy before becoming a monk at Iona, where Oswald of Northumbria was in exile. When the first mission to Northumbria failed, Oswald, who had since regained his kingdom, requested that Aidan, known for his zeal, preach to his people. In 635, Aidan was consecrated bishop and established his see at Lindisfarne; he chose 12 Northumbrian boys, among them Chad, Cedd, and Eata, to be educated to minister to the people Aidan had converted. Aidan travelled by foot through his diocese, where he strengthened communities and established missions. He was on good terms with Oswald's successor, Oswin, and Aidan died at the royal castle at Bamburgh in 651. He was buried at Lindisfarne.

After the Synod of Whitby, St. Colmán took some of Aidan's relics to Ireland; the remaining relics were removed before a Danish attack in 875. In 995, his relics were translated to Durham Cathedral for burial with St. Cuthbert, who is reported to have seen Aidan's soul transported to heaven.

Karen Rae Keck

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