Pope Benedict has ventured into the British Isles with his Wednesday Audience talk on the man known to readers of 1066 And All That as the Venomous Bead, and known to other Christians as the Venerable Bede. The full text is not up yet in English, but here’s the summary.
In our catechesis on the early Christian writers of East and West, we now turn to Saint Bede the Venerable. A monk of the monastery of Wearmouth in England, Bede became one of the most learned men of the early Middle Ages and a prolific author, while also gaining a reputation for great holiness and wisdom. His scriptural commentaries highlight the unity of the Old and New Testaments, centred on the mystery of Christ and the Church. Bede is best known, however, for his historical writings, in which he traced the history of the Church from the Acts of the Apostles, through the age of the Fathers and Councils, and down to his own times. His Ecclesiastical History recounts the Church’s missionary expansion and growth among the English people. Bede’s rich ecclesial, liturgical and historical vision enable his writings to serve as a guide for the Church’s teachers, pastors and religious in living out their vocations in the service of the Church’s mission. His great learning and the sanctity of his life, earned Bede the title of “Venerable”, while the rapid spread of his writings made him a highly influential figure in the building of a Christian Europe.