Saturday, 30 July 2011

Saints of Britain

St Aidan of Lindisfarne— 1st August

St Aidan was an Irish bishop of the 7th century and was based at Lindisfarne after St Oswald the king called for help to evangelise his lands. From here Aidan travelled on foot around his diocese and many churches and monasteries were founded in the area. St Aidan shunned worldly riches and things of the world. He was often invited to feasts as a friend of the king’s. These he rarely attended and when he did he would always bring other monks with him and always left as soon as he could to return to his work. St Aidan was a very approachable person and whenever he met another traveller on the road would always stop to talk to him. St Bede describes him as being, “a man of remarkable gentleness, goodness,

St Oswald Martyr King of Northumbria—5th August

A very righteous man, St Oswald did much work for the furthering of the Christian faith. He raised a wooden cross as his standard in a great bat-tle against pagan Britons, a battle in which he won a great victory against an old enemy. He established churches and monasteries throughout his kingdom with the help of many missionaries and monks including St Aidan of Lindisfarne. He was martyred in a battle against a pagan army in the year 642.
One Easter, when St Aidan was dining with St Oswald, a servant en-tered to say that there were many poor outside the gate seeking alms, Oswald took up a great silver dish and filled it with all sorts of foods from the royal table, and gave it to the steward. He told him to give out the food and then break the silver plate into pieces to hand out to the crowd as well. Aidan took the king’s right hand and said, “May this hand never decay”, his blessing was fulfilled, for after St Oswald’s death, his incorrupt hand was kept as a sacred relic.