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Born in Ireland, Aidan studied under St. Senan of Iniscathay on Scattery Island. He was made Bishop of Clogher, but resigned his bishopric to become a monk on Iona.

This rugged and storm-swept island in the Scottish seas became renowned throughout Europe as the greatest center of Irish monasticism. The saints connected with Iona are legendary and read like a veritable litany.

Aidan’s virtues, however, outshone the remoteness of his seclusion and he was again selected for an episcopal see, this time for that of Lindisfarne, an island some two miles off the coast of Northumberland.

The island mission was begun at the request of King Oswald, who had been educated by the Irish monk, and was then residing on the mainland at the royal fortress of Bamborough.

Aidan, the monk-bishop from the island of Iona, established his see on the island of Lindisfarne in 635 and it in turn became the center of great missionary activity and the religious capital of Northumbria.

In fact, Lindisfarne so closely resembled the island of Iona, from whence its first bishop had come, and gained for itself so sacred a reputation, that it came to be known as the Iona of England, or Holy Isle.

Having established his episcopal see, Aidan also founded a monastic community on the island. From this monastery were founded all the churches between Edinburgh and the Humber, as well as several others in the Midlands and in the country of East Anglia.

In time, Aidan came to be regarded as the Apostle of Northumbria and the influence of his successors was considerable.

St. Bede is lavish in his praise of the holy bishop’s rule and of the monks who served under him, saying of St. Aidan “he was a pontiff inspired with a passionate love of virtue, but at the same time full of a surpassing mildness and gentleness.”

Aidan died a Bamborough, on the mainland, on the last day of August in the year 651. His remains were taken with great reverence to Lindisfarne to be buried among the monks of the monastery he had founded.

 


Image:  King Oswald of Northumbria translates the sermon of Aidan into the Anglo-Saxon language, by A.M. von Ow, 1778

 

 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for March 20, 2019

He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure lo...

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March 20

 

He alone loves the Creator perfectly
who manifests a pure love for his neighbor.

St. Bede the Venerable


SATAN V. the Immaculate Conception  SIGN!

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne

Orphaned early in life, Cuthbert was brought up by a widow w...

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St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne

Orphaned early in life, Cuthbert was brought up by a widow who loved him like a son. According to St. Bede, he was a Briton. One night, while working as a shepherd, he had a marvelous vision of angels carrying the soul of St. Aidan to heaven. This occurrence seems to have impressed him deeply, though he went on to soldiering and possibly fought against the Mercians.

It was as a soldier that he knocked at the gate of Melrose Abbey. As a monk, he went on to become prior of the abbeys of Melrose and Lindisfarne. After some years at Lindisfarne, wishing to grow even closer to God, he retired as a hermit first to Holy Island, today named after him, and then to an even more remote location among the Farne Islands. Still, people persisted in following him even to this isolated place, and he graciously built a guest house near the landing stage of the isle to accommodate them.

Illustrations taken from the Venerable St. Bede’s Life of Cuthbert

Later, at the insistence of the Abbess St. Elfleda, a daughter of King Oswiu, he reluctantly accepted a bishopric and was consecrated Bishop of Lindisfarne. The two years of his episcopate were spent visiting his diocese preaching, teaching, distributing alms and working so many miraculous cures that during his lifetime he was known as the Wonderworker of Britain.

Weakened by his labors and austerities, Cuthbert sensed death approaching and again retired to his beloved retreat in the Farne Islands. He received the last sacraments and died peacefully, seated, his hands uplifted and his eyes raised heavenward. The Venerable St. Bede also records in his life of the saint that when Cuthbert's sarcophagus was opened nine years after his death, his body was found to have been perfectly preserved or incorrupt.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

A Bargain with Our Lady

From his sick bed, Ansaldo implored the Mother of God to hea...

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A Bargain with Our Lady


In the city of Doul, in France, lived a young cavalier named Ansaldo. This gentleman was trained in the arts of horsemanship and battle. As was common for those in Ansaldo’s line of work, he received a battle wound from an arrow, which entered so deep into the jaw-bone, that it was not possible to extract the iron.

After four years of suffering in this way, the afflicted man could endure the pain no longer. His affliction had made him very ill, a shadow of his former robust self. He thought he would again try to have the iron extracted. But before doing so, this time he decided to make a bargain with the Blessed Virgin.

From his sick bed, Ansaldo implored the Mother of God to heal his jaw and restore his health to him. In exchange for this great grace, he vowed to visit a sacred image of her in the city of Doul every year, and make an offering of a certain sum of money upon her altar if she granted this request.

He had no sooner made the vow than the iron, without being touched, fell out of his jaw and into his mouth.

The next day, ill as he was, he went to visit the sacred image. With a great deal of effort, the weakened, but hopeful man placed the promised gift upon the altar.

Immediately, he felt himself entirely restored to health.

Amazed by the quick maternal response of Mary Most Holy, Andsaldo never forgot his vow and returned every year to honor his part of their bargain.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

From his sick bed, Ansaldo implored the Mother of God to heal him and restore his health to him. In exchange for this great grace,

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