St.Aidan of Lindisfarne-Bishop and monastic founder

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  St.Aidan of Lindisfarne

Feast Day : August 31



Most of what scholars know about Aidan comes from favorable accounts by the Venerable Bede in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People. In 635, Aidan, a monk at St. Columba’s monastery on the island of Iona, traveled on foot to the city of Bamburgh in the old, Romanized part of Britain, now Northumbria, to serve as bishop at the request of St. King Oswald of Northumbria. Aidan followed the Celtic/Irish custom of establishing his see in a monastery, rather than in Northumbria’s largest city of York, and founded Lindisfarne as a royal fortress protected by the king. Aidan walked over all of Northumbria, gaining many converts and serving the poor, often with King Oswald translating the monk’s Latin into common English. The establishment of Lindisfarne monastery was Aidan’s greatest achievement. The Lindisfarne Gospels, almost the only codex (a manuscript book rather than a scroll) that can be attributed to a single scribe, was written by Eadfrith, abbot of Lindisfarne after Aidan’s death. However, Viking raiders, who pillaged the monasteries for their silver and precious objects, often destroyed the illuminated manuscripts for their gilded covers. Barbarians attacked Lindisfarne in 793, 801, 806 and 867; any survivors left the ruins for good in 875. The Lindisfarne Gospels were perhaps buried or sent to another monastery for safekeeping; one copy remains. Aidan died in 651 after the murder of King Oswin, Oswald’s successor. He was buried at the abbey

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