Feast of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
(d. ca. 670 A.D.)
Aidan, a native of Ireland, was a monk on Iona. When the Christian King Oswald returned from exile on Iona to his kingdom of Northumbria, he invited the monks of Iona to provide missionaries to instruct his people in Christianity. After initial difficulties, Aidan was consecrated bishop and sent with a group of Irish monks to begin this task.
He established a monastery on the island of Lindisfarne which became the centre of a major missionary effort in the North of England. The monastery also became a valuable centre of learning and an important training ground for the education of English boys who would continue the work of evangelisation.
From Lindisfarne Aidan journeyed throughout Northumberland, usually on foot, and working closely with King Oswald who found him to be a wise adviser and a good personal friend. After Oswald’s death in 642, Aidan continued this work under his successor, Oswin, but when Oswin himself was killed nine years later, Aidan did not long survive him and died two weeks later in 651.
According to Bede, Aidan was a man of great gentleness and moderation, outstanding for his energetic missionary work. His influence on the North of England was enormous, and his wise promotion of Christian education among the native English laid the solid foundation for the spread of the Gospel in the centuries which followed his death.
His feast day is August 31st.
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Aidan’s life was a life of humility and a life of service which echoed the life of Jesus himself.”
From Portrait of Saints
Everlasting God, you sent the gentle bishop Aidan to proclaim the gospel in this land, especially to the people of Northumbria; grant us to live as he taught in simplicity, humility, and love for the poor. Amen.”
Saint Aidan prayer
Saint Aidan, pray for us
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.