Friday, 25 May 2012

St Bede

St Bede, among other things, the great historian of the formation of the English nation under the Christian faith, died on the evening of May 25th 735 after first vespers of the Ascension.
It should not be forgotten that Bede's Ecclesiastical History makes it very clear that the very existence of the English nation was brought about by the Catholic Christian faith. 

The following passage is part of his account of the letter giving advice to St Augustine of Canterbury by Pope St Gregory, who had sent his mission to England: 

"...Augustine's Second Question. ­ Whereas the faith is one and the same, why are there different customs in different churches? and why is one custom of masses observed in the holy Roman church, and another in the Gailican church?
Pope Gregory answers. ­ You know, my brother, the custom of the Roman church in which you remember you were bred up. But it pleases me, that if you have found anything, either in the Roman, or the Gallican, or any other church, which may be more acceptable to Almighty God, you carefully make choice of the same, and sedulously teach the church of the English, which as yet is new in the faith, whatsoever you can gather from the several churches. For things are not to be loved for the sake of places, but places for the sake of good things. Choose, therefore, from every church those things that are pious, religious, and upright, and when you have, as it were, made them up into one body, let the minds of the English be accustomed thereto..."

St Bede: Ecclesiastical history of the English Nation I. 27. II

The Tomb of St Bede in Durham Cathedral

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