What is the Story of Bede’s Life?

Bede was widely regarded as the foremost scholar in Europe during his life, and continues to inspire people theologically and intellectually to this day.

Early Life 

Born in 672, Bede began his monastic training at the newly-founded Benedictine monastery of St Peter in Wearmouth at the age of seven. When he had completed this schooling, he moved to the twin monastery of St Paul in nearby Jarrow, where he remained for the rest of his life. It is probable that he never travelled further afield than Lindisfarne to the north and York to the south during his lifetime. 

A Passionate Scholar 

Bede declined to become the prior of Jarrow because he did not want administrative duties that would take him away from his scholarship.

He continued working until the very end of his life. His last work was a translation of the Gospel of St John, which he dictated to a young assistant:

'Dear master, there is still one sentence that we have not written down.'

Bede responded, 'Write quickly.'

After a little while the boy said, 'There, now it is written.'

'You have said well,' replied Bede. 'It is at an end. All is finished.'  

From “Venerable” to Sainthood

Bede was declared ‘venerable’ by the Church in 836 and was canonised in 1899. His feast day is May 27 – the day that he died.