Saint Bede Writing, title page,
Omiliae lectionum sancti evangelii Venerabilis Bedae presbiteri numero quinquaginta,
135 page manuscript on vellum,
Executed from 1143 to 1178
© Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 47 / Wikimedia
Feast of Saint Bede
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now.
But when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking as from himself but will say only what he has learnt; and he will tell you of the things to come.
He will glorify me, since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine. Everything the Father has is mine; that is why I said: All he tells you will be taken from what is mine.’
Reflection on the Manuscript Page
Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Bede, the patron saint of our seminary here in Rome, the Pontifical Beda College. Saint Bede (c. 672-735), known as the Venerable Bede, was an English monk, scholar, and theologian. His works were the crowning cultural achievement in England in the 8th century, sometime referred to as ‘the age of Bede’.
Bede was born in Northumbria and at the age of seven, relatives brought him to the Benedictine abbey at nearby Wearmouth where he passed the remainder of his life (later at a new monastery at Jarrow). The period during which Bede lived was the golden age of English monasticism during which close relations with Rome and the papacy blossomed.
Sant Bede was a very prolific writer. Among his most accomplished writings is the Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People), which he finished in 731. It is, in effect, a saint's life with the English nation as hero. It illustrates the early medieval theological proposition that the workings of Divine Providence are visible in history. Bede's subject matter is the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons, after their settlement in Britain, by missionaries from Rome and Ireland.
Our artwork is a 12th-century illuminated manuscript page depicting Saint Bede writing. He is surrounded by a stylised banded frame with one of the Evangelists in each corner.
Please keep in your prayers today all of us here in the seminary. Please pray for the staff, the four resident priests, the three religious sisters and all seminarians. Thank you.
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