Category Archives: St. Bede the Venerable

St. Bede: Whilst Sigebert still governed the kingdom, there came out of Ireland a holy man called Fursey . . .

Icon of St. Bede the VenerableWhilst Sigebert still governed the kingdom, there came out of Ireland a holy man called Fursey renowned both for his words and actions, and remarkable for singular virtues, being desirous to live a stranger for our Lord, wherever an opportunity should offer…he built himself the monastery, wherein he might with more freedom indulge his heavenly studies. There, falling sick, as the book about his life informs us, he fell into a trance, and quitting his body from the evening till the cock crew, he was found worthy to behold the choirs of angels, and to hear the praises which are sung in heaven. He was wont to declare, that among other things he distinctly heard this: “The saints shall advance from one virtue to another.” And again, “The God of gods shall be seen in Sion.” Being restored to his body at that time, and again taken from it three days after, he not only saw the greater joys of the blessed, but also extraordinary combats of evil spirits, who by frequent accusations wickedly endeavored to obstruct his journey to heaven; but the angels protecting him, all their endeavors were in vain. Concerning which particulars, if any one desires to be more fully informed, that is, with what subtle fraud the devils represented both his actions and superfluous words, and even his thoughts, as if they had been written down in a book…He also saw devils flying through the fire, raising conflagrations of wars against the just. Then followed accusations of the wicked spirits against him, the defense of the good angels in his favor, and a more extended view of the heavenly troops; as also of holy men of his own nation, who, as he had long since been informed, had been deservedly advanced to the degree of priesthood, from whom he heard many things that might be very salutary to himself, or to all others that would listen to them.

+ St. Bede the Venerable, Ecclesiastical History Bk. 3.19

St. Bede: Whenever we enter the church and draw near to the heavenly mysteries . . .

Icon of St. Bede the Venerable“Whenever we enter the church and draw near to the heavenly mysteries, we ought to approach with all humility and fear, both because of the presence of the angelic powers and out of the reverence due to the sacred oblation; for as the Angels are said to have stood by the Lord’s body when it lay in the tomb, so we must believe that they are present in the celebration of the Mysteries of His most sacred Body at the time of consecration.”

+ St.  Bede the Venerable

St. Bede the Venerable: . . . without love, the faith of a demon.

Icon of St. Bede the Venerable“‘You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and they tremble.’ (James 2:19)

They alone know how to believe in God who love God, who are Christians not only in name but also in action and [way of] life, because without love faith is empty. With love, it is the faith of a Christian —without love, the faith of a demon.”

— St. Bede the Venerable, Commentary on James

St. Bede the Venerable: Better a stupid and unlettered brother . . .

Icon of St. Bede the Venerable

“Better a stupid and unlettered brother who, working the good things he knows, merits life in Heaven than one who though being distinguished for his learning in the Scriptures, or even holding the place of a doctor, lacks the bread of love.”
+ St. Bede the Venerable

St. Bede the Venerable: We abide in God . . .

Icon of St. Bede the Venerable

“We abide in God insofar as we do not sin.”

— St. Bede the Venerable, Commentary on I John, 3:6