Saturday, May 28, 2011

Meet the Doctors: St. Bede the Venerable


Share/Bookmark From Matins of the Feast of St. Bede the Venerable, Confessor, Doctor.
Source: The Traditional Roman Breviary (1911), www.breviary.net


Lesson iv

St. Paul's Church, Jarrow
Beda présbyter, Girvi in Británniæ et Scótiæ fínibus ortus, septénnis sancto Benedícto Biscópio abbáti Wiremuthénsi educándus tráditur.  Mónachus deínde factus, vitam sic instítuit, ut, dum se ártium et doctrinárum stúdiis totum impénderet, nihil umquam de regulári disciplína remítteret.  Nullum fuit doctrínæ genus, in quo non esset diligentíssime versátus ; sed præcípua illi cura divinárum Scripturárum meditátio, quarum senténtiam ut plénius assequerétur, Græci Hebraicíque sermónis notítiam est adéptus.  Tricésimo ætátis anno, abbátis sui jussu sacérdos initiátus, statim, suasóre Acca Hagulstadénsi epíscopo, sacros explanáre libros aggréssus est : in quo sanctórum Patrum doctrínis ádeo inhæsit, ut nihil proférret nisi illórum judício comprobátum, eorúmdem étiam fere verbis usus.  Otium perósus semper, ex lectióne ad oratiónem transíbat ac vicíssim ex oratióne ad lectiónem : in qua ádeo ánimo inflammabátur, ut sæpe inter legéndum et docéndum lácrimis perfunderétur.  Ne autem rerum fluxárum curis distraherétur, delátum abbátis munus constantíssime detrectávit.
Bede the priest was born at Jarrow, on the borders of England and Scotland.  At the age of seven years he was placed under the care of holy Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth, to be educated.  Thereafter, he became a monk, and so ordered his life that, whilst he should devote himself wholly to the study of the sciences and of doctrine, he might in nothing relax the discipline of his Order.  There was no branch of learning in which he was not most thoroughly versed, but his chief care was the study of Holy Scriptures ; and that he might the better understand them he acquired a knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew tongues.  When he was thirty years of age he was ordained priest at the command of his Abbot, and immediately, on the advice of Acca, Bishop of Hexham, undertook the work of expounding the Sacred Books.  In his interpretations he so strictly adhered to the teaching of the holy Fathers, that he would advance nothing which was not approved by their judgment, nay, had the warrant of their very words.  He ever hated sloth, and by habitually passing from reading to prayer, and in turn from prayer from reading, he so inflamed his soul that often amid his reading and teaching he was bathed in tears.  Lest also his mind should be distracted by the cares of transitory things, he never would take the office of Abbot when it was offered to him.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.
R.  Honéstum fecit illum Dóminus, et custodívit eum ab inimícis, et a seductóribus tutávit illum : * Et dedit illi claritátemætérnam, allelúja.V.  Justum dedúxit Dóminus per vias rectas, et osténdit illi regnum Dei.
R.  Et dedit illi claritátem ætérnam, allelúja.
R.  The Lord multiplied the fruit of his labours and defended him from his enemies, and kept him safe from those that lay in wait. * And gave him perpetual glory, alleluia.
V.  The Lord guided the righteous in right paths, and shewed him the kingdom of God.
R.  And gave him perpetual glory, alleluia.

V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 5: Christus perpétuæ det nobis gáudia vitæ.R.  Amen.
Benediction 5: May Christ bestow upon us the joys of life eternal.
R.  Amen.
Lesson v

St. Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People
Sciéntiæ ac pietátis laude Bedæ nomen sic brevi cláruit, ut sanctus Sérgius Papa de eo Romam arcesséndo cogitáverit ; quo difficíllimis scílicet, quæ de rebus sacris exórtæ erant, quæstiónibus definiéndis conférret óperam.  Emendándis fidélium móribus, fídei vindicándæ atque asseréndæ libros plures conscrípsit, quibus tantam sui apud omnes opiniónem fecit, ut illum sanctus Bonifátius epíscopus et martyr, Ecclésiæ lumen prædicáverit ; Lanfráncus, Anglórum doctórem ; concílium Aquisgranénse, doctórem admirábilem díxerit.  Quin ejus scripta, eo adhuc vivénte, públice in ecclésiis legebántur.  Quod cum fíeret, quóniam ipsum sanctum mínime appelláre licéret, Venerábilis título efferébant ; qui deínde véluti próprius secútis étiam tempóribus semper hábitus est.  Ejus autem doctrínæ eo vis efficácior erat, quod vitæ sanctimónia religiosísque virtútibus confírmabátur.  Quam ob rem discípulos, quos multos et egrégios imbuéndos hábuit, stúdio et exémplo non lítteris modo atque sciéntiis, sed étiam sanctitáte fecit insígnes.
The name of Bede soon became so famous for learning and piety that St. Sergius the Pope thought of calling him to Rome, where, certainly, he might have helped to solve the very difficult questions which had then arisen concerning sacred things.  He wrote many books for the bettering of the lives of the faithful, and defending and extending of the faith.  By those he gained everywhere such a reputation that the holy martyr Bishop Boniface styled him a Light of the Church ; Lanfranc called him The Teacher of the English ; and the Council of Aix-la-Chapelle The Admirable Doctor.  But as his writings were publicly read in the churches during his life, and as it was not allowable to call him already a saint, they named him The Venerable, a title which in all times after hath remained peculiarly his.  The power of his teaching was the greater also, in that it was attested by a holy life and the graces of religious observance.  In this way, by his earnestness and example, his disciples, who were many and distinguished, were made eminent, not only in letters and the sciences, but in personal holiness.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.
R.  Amávit eum Dóminus, et ornávit eum : stolam glóriæ índuit eum, * Et ad portas paradísi coronávit eum, allelúja.V.  Induit eum Dóminus lorícam fídei, et ornávit eum.
R.  Et ad portas paradísi coronávit eum, allelúja.
R.  The Lord loved him and adorned him; he clothed him with a robe of glory : * And crowned him at the gates of Paradise, alleluia.V.  The Lord hath put on him the breast-plate of faith, and hath adorned him.
R.  And crowned him at the gates of Paradise, alleluia.

V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 6: Ignem sui amóris accéndat Deus in córdibus nostris.
R.  Amen.
Benediction 6: May God enkindle in our hearts the fire of his holy love.
R.  Amen.
Lesson vi
Ætáte demum et labóribus fractus, gravi morbo corréptus est.  Quo cum ámplius quinquagínta dies deténtus esset, consuétum orándi morem Scripturásque interpretándi non intercépit ; eo namque témpore Evangélium Joánnis in populárium suórum usum Anglice vertit.  Cum autem in Ascensiónis prælúdio instáre sibi mortem persentiret, suprémis Ecclésiæ sacraméntis muníri vóluit ; tum, sodáles amplexátus, atque humi super cilício stratus, cum illa verba ingemináret, Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto, obdormívit in Dómino.  Ejus corpus, suavíssimum, uti fertur, spirans odórem, sepúltum est in monastério Girvénsi, ac póstea Dunclínum cum sancti Cuthbérti relíquiis translátum.  Eum tamquam Doctórem a Benedictínis aliísque religiósis famíliis ac diœcésibus cultum, Leo décimus tértius Póntifex máximus, ex sacrórum Rítuum Congregatiónis consúlto, universális Ecclésiæ Doctórem declarávit, et festo ipsíus die Missam et Offícium de Doctóribus ab ómnibus recitári decrévit.
Broken at length by age and labour, he was seized by a grievous illness.  Though he suffered under it for more than seven weeks, he ceased not from his prayers and his interpreting of the Scriptures ; for at that time he was turning the Gospel of John into English for the use of his people.  But when, on the Eve of the Ascension, he perceived that death was coming upon him, he desired to be fortified with the last sacraments of the Church : then, after he had embraced his companions, and was laid on a piece of sackcloth on the ground, he repeated the words, Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, and fell asleep in the Lord.  His body, very sweet, as it related, breathing sweet odour, was buried in the monastery of Jarrow, and afterwards was translated to Durham with the relics of St. Cuthbert.  Bede, who was already a Doctor among the Benedictines, and in other religious Orders, and venerated in certain dioceses, was declared by Pope Leo XIII, after consulting with the Congregation of Sacred Rites, to be a Doctor of the universal Church ; and the Mass and Office for Doctors was ordered to be recited by all on his feast-day.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.

The Tomb of the Venerable Bede in Durham Cathedral
R.  Iste homo perfécit ómnia quæ locútus est ei Deus, et dixit ad eum : Ingrédere in réquiem meam : * Quia te vidi justum coram me ex ómnibus géntibus, allelúja.
V.  Iste est, qui contémpsit vitam mundi, et pervénit ad cæléstia regna.
R.  Quia te vidi justum coram me ex ómnibus géntibus, allelúja.
V.  Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R.  Quia te vidi justum coram me ex ómnibus géntibus, allelúja.
R.  This is he which did according to all that God commanded him ; and God said unto him : Enter thou into my rest : * For thee have I seen righteous before me among all people, alleluia.V.  This is he which despised his life in this world, and is come unto an everlasting kingdom.
R.  For thee have I seen righteous before me among all people, alleluia.V.  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R.  For thee have I seen righteous before me among all people, alleluia.


    
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