Aug 31 – Aidan and Cuthbert

Aug 31 - Aidan and Cuthbert

Aidan, 651
Cuthbert, 687
Missionaries + Bishops of Lindisfarne
31 August 

click here for books on Aidan or Cuthbert


From the Satucket Lectionary

The Gospel first came to the northern English in 627, When King Edwin of Northumbria was converted by a mission from Canterbury led by Bishop Paulinus, who established his see at York. Edwin’s death in battle in 632 was followed by a severe pagan reaction. A year later, Edwin’s exiled nephew Oswald gained the kingdom, and proceeded at once to restore the Christian mission.

Statue of St. Aidan at LinsifarneDuring his exile, Oswald had lived at Columba’s monastery of Iona (see 9 June), where he had been converted and baptized. Hence he sent to Iona, rather than to Canterbury, for missionaries. The first monk to preach was a man named Corman, who had no success, and returned to Iona to complain that the Northumbrians were a savage and unteachable race. A  young monk named Aidan responded, “Perhaps you were too harsh with them, and they might have responded better to a gentler approach.” At this, Aidan found himself appointed to lead a second expedition to Northumbria. He centered his work, not at York, but in imitation of his home monastery, on Lindisfarne, an island off the northeast coast of England, now often called Holy Isle. With his fellow monks and the English youths whom he trained, Aidan restored Christianity in Northumbria, King Oswald often serving as his interpreter, and extended the mission through the midlands as far south as London.

Lindisfarne
Ruins of the medieval monastery at Lindisfarne
[photo by author]

Aidan died at the royal town of Bamburgh, 31 August, 651. The historian Bede said of him: “He neither sought nor loved anything of this world, but delighted in distributing immediately to the poor whatever was given him by kings or rich men of the world. He traversed both town and country on foot, never on horseback, unless compelled by some urgent necessity. Wherever on his way he saw any, either rich or poor, he invited them, if pagans, to embrace the mystery of the faith; or if they were believers, he sought to strengthen them in their faith and stir them up by words and actions to alms and good works.”

by James Kiefer

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Aug 31 – Aidan and Cuthbert

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s