The Venerable Bede was an 8th century Benedictine monk from Northumbria in England. He was born in 672-3 and died on May 26th 735. He is most known for his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People) which covers the period of time from Julius Caesar and the Roman invasion of England to the mission of St. Augustine and up to his own time. Completed in 731, this work gained him the title “Father of English History”. He also wrote on science, and theology, translated Scripture and composed several chants. In all Bede is credited with about 45 books, which he wrote himself claiming: “I am my own secretary; I dictate, I compose, I copy all myself.”
While the term ‘venerable’ was attached to his name shortly after his death, Bede was officially canonized in 1899 and is a doctor of the church and known as the patron saint of English writers and historians.
Bede’s Death Song
Before the unavoidable journey there,
no one becomes wiser in thought than him who,
by need, ponders, before his going hence,
what good and evil within his soul,
after his day of death,
will be judged.