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St. Bede The Venerable

Bede is known for his history of the early Church in Britain. He wrote the “Ecclesiastical History of the English People” and several other works, including works on sacred music. Bede lists his sources and takes great pains to get an accurate account; this was unusual for historians at this time. Bede was born in Britain in 672 or 673 and raised from the age of seven in the monastery at Wearmouth and Jarrow. He was ordained a priest at age thirty and served all his life in the monastery he was raised in. Much of what we know about him comes from the brief chronology he gave of his life at the end of the “Ecclesiastical History.” His monks wrote an account of his saintly death; he was still working on a translation of the gospel of John from his sickbed. When the young man to whom he was dictating wrote the last sentence, Bede said “Yes, it is finished” and asked to be sat up so that he might look at the places he used to pray in. He expired peacefully the Tuesday before Ascension Day in 735 as the monks recited the Glory be to the Father. He is a Doctor of the Church.

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