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The Venerable Bede


Bede was born around the year 672 in Wearmouth-Jarrow in the north of England. From the age of seven he lived a long life in the Benedictine abbey of Saints Peter and Paul at Wearmouth-Jarrow. He was ordained a priest in 702 and quickly gathered the reputation of being the most learned man in England. He wrote about history, rhetoric, mathematics, music, astronomy, poetry, grammar, philosophy, hagiography, homiletics, and Bible commentary.

His most famous work is the Historia Ecclesiastica, the Ecclesiastical History of the English People, which provides one of the first historical frameworks for the spread of Christianity in the face of violence and barbarism. Bede concluded his writings with the words:

And I pray thee, loving Jesus, that as Thou hast graciously given me to drink in with delight the words of Thy knowledge, so Thou wouldst mercifully grant me to attain one day to Thee, the fountain of all wisdom and to appear forever before Thy face.

Bede died in 735.  Within a few years of his death he became widely known as “The Venerable Bede”. He was declared the only English Doctor of the Church in 1899. He is regarded as the father of English history and is the patron of Lectors.