25 May 2006

St. Bede the Venerable

Shown here on his deathbed, dictating the last of his scholarly work to a young monk, St. Bede the Venerable is one of the lesser known doctors of the Church.

St. Bede is often mistaken for a Benedictine. A careful reading of his work "The History of the Monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow," however, reveals that St. Benedict Biscop, although trained by the Benedictines in Lerins, when he founded the Monasteries, constructed a rule for monastic life based upon several monastic rules which were in existence at the time.

Although many details about his life remain shrouded by the veil of history, in St. Bede, we find a timeless recipe for sanctity: doing ordinary things with extraordinary fidelity and love. St. Bede spent his entire adult life (and much of his childhood, as a student -- an oblate) in his beloved monastery. Although he was an eminent scholar and was charged with teaching Latin to the newer monks, he never held an office in the monastery. He worked; he prayed; he preached; he taught. St. Bede's holiness is found in the extraordinary diligence -- love -- with which he carried out his daily tasks.

"Great deeds may not always come our way, but at all times we can do little deeds with perfection, that is, with great love."
St. Francis de Sales

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