Christ is the Morning Star, who, when the night of this world is past gives to his saints
the promise of the light of life, and opens everlasting day.
- the Venerable Bede
Bede was an Anglo-Saxon monk who lived in Northumbria and died in the year 735. He is chiefly remembered as the author of The Ecclesiastical History of the English People — a wonderful account of the Church in England from the arrival of the Roman mission through to his own day.
When he was seven years old Bede entered the Northumbrian monastery of Wearmouth as his parents’ free-will offering to the Church; he was later transferred to the new monastery at Jarrow. He became a deacon when he was nineteen and a priest twenty-one years later. These two events were the high points of his life. For the rest, as he said of himself at the age of fifty- nine: “I have spent all my life in this monastery [of Jarrow], applying myself entirely to the study of the Scriptures; and
amid the observance of the discipline of the Rule and the daily task of singing the Divine Office in the church, it has been my delight to learn or to teach or to write.”
This quiet, happy monk became ill shortly after Easter in the year 735. Though in considerable physical pain, he kept his mind clear; and as he contemplated going to be with the Lord, his spirit became cheerful. He died on the eve of Ascension Day, May twenty-fifth, as he gently sang these words to him-self: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be .... ”