St Aidan (ca 590-651) was born in Ireland and may have studied under the direction of St Senan before becoming a Monk at a relatively young age in a Monastery on the Island of Iona.
Following a request from St Oswald, the Christian King of Northumbria, to the Monastery of Iona for help to promote the spread of Christianity among the then Anglo-Saxon pagans, St Aidan was sent as a Bishop. Although he wasn’t the first to attempt the task of converting the people, his inspirational qualities meant that he was warmly welcomed.
It is said that St Aidan, “Traversed both town and country on foot… and wherever in his way he saw any, either rich or poor, he invited them, if infidels, to embrace the mystery of the faith or if they were believers, to strengthen them in the faith, and to stir them up by words and actions to alms and good works. … At that time, many religious men and women, stirred up by his example, adopted the custom of fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays, till the ninth hour…, Moreover, he afterwards made many of those he had ransomed his disciples, and after having taught and instructed them, advanced them to the order of priesthood”.
St Aidan “was known throughout the kingdom for his knowledge of the Bible, his learning, his eloquent preaching, his holiness, his distaste for pomp, his kindness to the poor, and the miracles attributed to him”. (Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation)
St Aidan founded Lindisfarne Monastery which became known as the English Iona and recognised as a center of excellence for training and missionary work in Northern England.
St Aidan’s Feast Day is the 31st of August, the Day of his death. He is often referred to as the Apostle of Northumbria. He is the Patron Saint of Northumbria and firefighters.
St Aidan of Lindisfarne:
Pray that we will develop a heart of compassion and a desire to help those who don’t know about Jesus.
Glory be to the…