A teacher of great repute, Bede is the only English Doctor of the Church.
Born in the north of England in about 673, he was sent to a Benedictine monastery at the age of 7 and was educated in a neighbouring monastery, where he remained for the rest of his life. At 19 he became a deacon and at 30, a priest.
Bede was considered the most learned man of his time and a gifted writer. Though he excelled in biblical commentary and history, he also wrote extensively in other areas including poetry, biography and chronology.
His most famous work is the authoritative Historia ecclesiastica (Ecclesiastical History of the English People), the only source for much early Anglo-Saxon history.
His particular gift seems to have been his ability to recognize, with precision and clarity, the needs of his contemporaries and to judge accurately the significance of the events he and they were living through. His wisdom and learning earned him the respectful title of “Venerable”, which the Church formalized in 853. He died on this day in 735.