Saint Bede the Venerable (672-735)

for May 25

Saint Bede was raised in the abbey of Saints Peter and Paul at Wearmouth-Jarrow in England. He became a Benedictine monk, and was a famous teacher and author. He was known as one of the most learned men of his time, and penned works about history, rhetoric, mathematics, music, astronomy, poetry, grammar, philosophy, hagiography, homiletics, and the Bible. One of his most famous works is the Historia Ecclesiastica, which discusses how the Church should use its spiritual, doctrinal, and cultural powers to put an end to violence. Much of what we know about England before the eighth century comes from Bede's writings. Bede is called "venerable' to acknowledge his great wisdom, and was declared a Doctor of the Church. Saint Bede the Venerable is the patron saint of scholars.

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Saint Bede was a man of unparalleled learning. In addition to his supreme intelligence, Saint Bede was utterly devoted to God. These two qualities--his faith and his intelligence--led him to the conclusion that it was the responsibility of the Church to encourage the abandonment of violence. Saint Bede, perhaps more than many saints, has something to teach our society. As a nation, we wage violent wars that kill many innocent people, we torture terrorists, we support capital punishment and we fund many foreign leaders who ruthlessly harm their people. As Saint Bede reminds us, it is very difficult to justify such actions as Christians, because we believe that our fundamental duty is to follow and imitate Jesus, who died selflessly to save others, not hurt them. In what ways could you encourage the cessation of violence?


Dear Jesus, please help the world to be more peaceful and help me to be an instrument in spreading the love that will ultimately lead to peace.