Saint Bede's Tomb,
The Galilee Chapel at Durham Cathedral
© Durham Cathedral

Saint Bede's Tomb,
The Galilee Chapel at Durham Cathedral
© Durham Cathedral

Gospel of 25 May 2024

Feast of Saint Bede the Venerable

Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing little children to Jesus, for him to touch them. The disciples turned them away, but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ Then he put his arms round them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing.

Reflection on the shrine

Saint Bede, also known as the Venerable Bede, was an English monk (died 26 May 735), renowned for his contributions to theology, history, and literature, and particularly for his influential work Ecclesiastical History of the English Church and People, which remains an invaluable source for understanding early English history and Christianity.

The history of Bede's shrine dates back to the medieval period when Durham Cathedral was a centre of pilgrimage and religious devotion. Pilgrims from across England would visit the cathedral to pay homage to Saint Bede and seek his intercession for spiritual guidance and healing. Saint Bede’s shrine in the Cathedral was destroyed in 1540, as part of the Protestant Reformation that was sweeping through England.  Bede was re-buried beneath the original site. A simple chest tomb was built above him, made from Egglestone marble. It was dismantled in 1831 when the grave was opened. As befitted a simple monk, no costly silks or rich jewels were found: only a plain gilt iron ring and a few small coins, which had probably been pushed through the stonework of the grave as offerings. When the chest tomb was rebuilt afterwards, the top was engraved with the text traditionally used on his grave: Hac sunt in fossa Bedae Venerabilis ossa which means ‘In this grave are the bones of the Venerable Bede’. Today the tomb of the Venerable Bede can be seen in the Galilee Chapel of Durham Cathedral.

Bede's last moments have been recounted. A few hours before he died Saint Bede said, "It is time that I return to the One who gave me being, creating me out of nothing. The moment of my liberty is approaching". A scribe who sat next to Bede's bed said, 'Dear master, there is yet one chapter unwritten; would you be disturbed if we asked you additional questions?"  St Bede answered, "No; take your pen, and write quickly," which the scribe did.  They worked together until Bede's last breath.

Today I pray especially for all the seminarians at the Beda College in Rome where I completed my formation for the priesthood. May God bless all seminarians there abundantly as they prepare to serve his Church. Through the intercession of Saint Bede, may they grow in holiness and wisdom, and be ever faithful to God's call.

Share this Gospel Reading

Did you like this Gospel reading and art reflection?

Join in the discussion about this artwork & Gospel reading

Subscribe
Notify of
12 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dan Campbell
Member
Dan Campbell
22 days ago

I worship in a church dedicated to St Bede and have always treasured Jesus’s attitude to children. Would that we all could be children again.

Silvia Moiron
Member
Silvia Moiron
23 days ago

Me uno a las oraciones por los seminaristas, especialmente por Maximiliano y Franco, de Buenos Aires Argentina 🕯️🙏🇦🇷🇻🇦🇬🇧

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
23 days ago

There is a tiny, ancient church a few miles from us, never modernised, smelling of wood, and slightly damp.plaster. It is nowhere near a village, just a tiny hamlet of farms. It is scarcely more, architecturally, than a small barn. It moves me so much, I think of the generations who worshipped there, who prayed and wept and pleaded with their God:
“Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.” – But, they were “known unto God”.
Our cathedrals are moving in a different way, they were, and still are, important statements, demonstrations of the centrality of the Christian religion in Europe, of man’s striving upwards, in thought, word and deed. Long before they were built, the Venerable Bede recognised the importance of great structures. Even though the Coliseum was a pagan building, he recognised the importance of magnificence:
“Rome will exist as long as the Coliseum does; when the Coliseum falls, so will Rome; when Rome falls, so will the world”
I may feel inadequate in myself, but being in a church or Cathedral makes me feel at one with all those who have built and worshipped there, and I feel the support of an invisible community, going back hundreds, maybe thousands of years –
thanks be to God.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
24 days ago

At last somewhere I’ve been. Not sure I appreciated it at the time though. We have a visitor here who wanted to go to Durham but the train journey takes too long from here just for a day trip. Never mind, we did go to Canterbury once and that is a wonderful memory. I will ask Saint Bede for his intercession now the long needed election has been announced. Our country certainly needs all the prayers possible right now.

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
23 days ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

It certainly does!

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
24 days ago

A wonderful story Fr Patrick has given us today and an equally wonderful prayer, to which we all say Amen.
Durham is our oldest cathedral.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
24 days ago

I have two children with conventional names. I often fantasise about having given them more exotic Christian names. Bede for the boy and Eulalia for the girl. The argument against this is that they might be teased. And the diminutives. Lala? B? lol 😂

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
24 days ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Morning Chazbo. The argument against such names is that they sound pretentious – and not a bit unlike the offspring of a certain politician 😁

John Hobbs
Member
John Hobbs
23 days ago

We have a Josephine, so named that I could say “not tonight etc.” when pressed and also because of one of my favourite songs by Chris Rea. My boy on the other handed ended up being Julius partly because my ask for Julian, after several close friends, was rejected by the Main Board. Julius was a compromise we found while watching a pianist called Julius Drake! He finds it pretentious but is content to be called Jules! Never thought of Bede but some contemporaries had a Benedict!

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
24 days ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

This doesn’t seem an issue to many parents today Chazbo! Thank goodness my grandchildren have standard names though.

Michael Barrett
Member
Michael Barrett
24 days ago

How beautiful is Durham cathedral. I was there in 2019 and much repair work being done ,including Bedes tomb,I would love to see it now .
I also pray for our seminarians in Australia , especially for Anthony from our own parish of Port Kembla NSW.

Moira Cunningham
Member
Moira Cunningham
24 days ago

Thank you Fr Patrick. Let’s pray for all our priests today.

Readings related to Mark 10:13-16

3 October 2021

Mark 10:2-16

What God has united, man must not divide

28 May 2024

Mark 10:28-31

What about us? We have left everything...

25 February 2022

Mark 10:1-12

Is it against the law for a man to divorce his ...

30 May 2023

Mark 10:28-31

What about us?

Join our community

In addition to receiving our Daily Gospel Reading and Art Reflection, signing up for a free membership allows you to: 

The mission of Christian Art is to offer a daily Gospel Reading paired with a related work of art and a short reflection. Our goal is to help people grow closer to God through the magnificent pairing of art and the Christian faith.

CONNECT WITH US

Join over 70,000 people who receive our daily Gospel Reading and Art Reflection

Skip to content