Stewardship Saint of the Month: Saint Bede the Venerable

Saint Bede the Venerable, an
English saint more popularly
known as the “Venerable
Bede,” was born in Sunderland,
England in the year 673.
Educated from the age of seven,
he entered the monastery
of Saint Peter in Jarrow,
Northumberland, England, was
ordained a deacon at age 19
and ordained a priest at age 30.
The monastery at Jarrow would
become the center of AngloSaxon learning in England, and
from that monastery Saint Bede,
who would remain there his
entire life, became the greatest
of the Anglo-Saxon scholars.
Saint Bede sought to exercise good stewardship by a balanced life
of prayer, scholarship and manual labor. He rarely traveled, but attended
faithfully to his monastic duties, working in the fields surrounding the
monastery and being partly responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of
the large abbey church.
His communal prayer life was complemented by meditation,
chanting of psalms and writing prayers, prose and poems that reflected
his deep faith.
Saint Bede devoted himself to the study and teaching of Sacred
Scripture, and to writing Biblical commentaries based on the Biblical
commentaries of the Fathers of the Church and to the lives of the saints.
He also taught Latin to those who entered the monastery or came for an
The term “A.D.” (Anno Domini, Latin for “year of the Lord”) for the
years of the Christian era was popularized by Saint Bede. His Ecclesiastical
History of the English People, completed in 731, was widely read
throughout England and Europe and became a classic. His book is still
reprinted and studied.
The Venerable Bede passed away on May 26, 735. In the final weeks
of his life, he completed the translation of the Gospel of John into Old
English (his native tongue) by dictating to the young monk who served as
his scribe. It is said that he passed away chanting the doxology “Glory be
to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.”
Pope Leo XIII named Saint Bede a Doctor of the Church. He is
renowned as the most important historian of the Church in England and is
the patron saint of scholars. His feast day is May 25.