Thursday, November 05, 2009

Death of Ven.Bede

I am currently writing a paper on the two great historians: St. Bede (c.672-735), the Father of English history, and Bishop Eusebis of Caesarea (c.260 – ante 341), the Father of Church history. I just read this beautiful account of St. Bede's falling asleep and thought you might like to read it, too. (Trivia: Bede means prayer, and is the word from which we get bead.)

Even on the day of his death (the vigil of the Ascension, 735) the saint was still busy dictating a translation of the Gospel of St. John. In the evening the boy Wilbert, who was writing it, said to him: "There is still one sentence, dear master, which is not written down." And when this had been supplied, and the boy had told him it was finished, "Thou hast spoken truth", Bede answered, "it is finished. Take my head in thy hands for it much delights me to sit opposite any holy place where I used to pray, that so sitting I may call upon my Father." And thus upon the floor of his cell singing, "Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost" and the rest, he peacefully breathed his last breath.

Troparion, in Tone VIII

Throughout the dark years of thy times, O Bede, thou didst water the English lands and all the West with outpourings of grace; and like a skilled sower thou didst cast the seed of divine knowledge far and wide over the fields of thy Master, where, springing forth, it hath borne fruit for Him an hundredfold. Wherefore, having thus acquired boldness before Him, O venerable one, pray thou unceasingly that our souls be saved.

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