[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Bede the Venerable,
Hieromonk of Wearmouth and Jarrow

Old English BÆDA
VII/VIII Centuries
Born c. 673 on the land that later became the property of the monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow, Bede spent most of his life around that spot. When he was seven, his parents gave him to the care of St. Benedict Biscop to be raised in the monastery, where Bede learned Latin, Greek, and a little Hebrew. He also became versed in astronomy and the natural sciences. St. John of Beverley ordained him a deacon c. 692 and a priest about twelve years later. Bede was known for his teaching abilities, and many of his works, such as De orthographia, served as textbooks for the monks. Familiar with the Scriptures as well as the writings of Sts. Augustine, Ambrose, and Gregory the Great, Bede wrote exegesis and hymns. He also composed a life of St. Cuthbert, research for which took him to Lindisfarne. Bede wrote the lives of the abbots of Jarrow from its founding (when he first entered Jarrow) c. 681 until 716. His most famous work is the Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed in 731. Many consider Bede the first modern historian because he was careful to separate fact from legend and because he cited his sources. Bede died of asthma in 735, shortly after he had finished translating the gospel according to St. John into Anglo-Saxon.

Karen Rae Keck

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