One to Call
Aidan was a humble man. He was greatly loved and respected because of his love and compassion for the poor, his kindness toward people, and his distaste for pomp and excessiveness. He exuded genuine warmth, humility, and a deep love of goodness — a man anyone would love to call “friend”!
Aidan of Lindisfarne was born in Ireland. It is believed he studied under St. Senan before becoming a monk at Iona, the monastery St. Columba had established. At the request of King Oswald of Northumbria, Aidan became the first bishop of Lindisfarne, a small island off the coast of Northern England, in 635. He was well-known throughout the kingdom for his knowledge of the Bible and his great learnedness and eloquence as a preacher. He was known to be holy, and miracles were attributed to him.
He founded and became abbot of the monastery at Lindisfarne, which became known as the English Iona. Created by its monks was the Lindisfarne Gospels, one of the most beautiful works of art from the medieval period. It was a center of learning and a great storehouse of European literature during the Middle Ages, as well as a center of missionary activity for all of northern England. He died in 651 at the royal castle at Bamburgh and his feast day is August 31.
O loving God,
who called your servant Aidan
from the peace of a cloister
to re-establish the Christian mission
in northern England,
and gave him the gifts of gentleness,
simplicity, and strength:
Grant that we, following his example,
may use what you have given us
for the relief of human need,
and may persevere in commending the saving Gospel
of our Redeemer Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Other Saints We Remember Today
St. Raymond Nonnatus (1240), Religious, Patron of midwives
St. Aristedes (2nd Century)