HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







The Historical Works Of Venerable Bede

§ 40. AT another time, the same Ælfled, who was a most holy virgin, and mother of the virgins of Christ, sent for the man of God, adjuring him in the name of our Lord that she might be allowed to see him and to speak about certain things of importance. He therefore entered with the brethren into a ship, and went over to an island which is situated in the mouth of the river Coquet, from which it received its name. This island was also remarkable for the number of its monks. The abbess, who had requested him to meet her in this island, when she had enjoyed his conversation for some time, and the man of God had answered many questions that she put to him; on a sudden, in the midst of his conversation, she fell at his feet and adjured him, by the terrible and sacred name of our Heavenly King and his angels, that he would tell her how long her brother Ecgfrid would live and govern the English nation. “For I know,” she said, “that you abound in the spirit of prophecy, and that, if you are willing, you are able to tell me even this.” But he, shuddering at the adjuration, and yet not being willing openly to reveal the secret which she had asked him, replied, “It is a wonderful thing that you, being a wise woman and skilled in sacred scriptures, should call long the duration of human life: the Psalmist says, ‘that our years shall perish like a spider’s web,’ and Solomon advises that, if a man shall live many years, and shall have been prosperous in all of these, he ought to remember the gloomy time of many days, which when it shall come, the past is convicted of folly; how much more then ought that man, to whose life one year only is wanting, to be considered as having lived a short time when death stands at his door.”

§ 41. On hearing these words she lamented the dreadful prophecy with many tears, but then having wiped her face, she with feminine boldness adjured him by the majesty of the Holy One, that he would tell her who would be the heir to the kingdom, seeing that Ecgfrid had neither sons nor brothers. After a short silence, he said, “Do not say that he is without heirs, for he shall have a successor, whom you shall embrace like Ecgfrid himself with the affection of a sister.”—“But,” said she, “I beseech you to tell me where he may be found.” He answered, “You behold this great and spacious sea, how it aboundeth in islands. It is easy for God out of some of these to provide a person to reign over England.” She therefore understood him to speak of Aldfrid, who was said to be the son of her father, and was then, on account of his love of literature, exiled to the Scottish islands. But she was aware that Ecgfrid proposed to make him a bishop, and wishing to know if the effect would follow the intention, she began by inquiring in this manner: “Oh, with what various intentions are the hearts of men distracted! Some rejoice in having obtained riches, others always eager after them are still in want: but thou rejectest the glory of the world, although it is offered thee, and although thou mightest obtain a bishopric, than which there is nothing more sublime on earth, yet thou preferrest the recesses of thy desert to this rank.”—“But,” said he, “I know that I am not worthy of so high a rank; nevertheless, I cannot shun the judgment of the Supreme Ruler, who, if he decreed that I should subject myself to so great a burden, would, I believe, restore me after a moderate freedom, and perhaps after not more than two years would send me back to my former solitude and quiet. But I must first request you in the name of our Lord and Saviour that you do not relate to any one before my death the things which I have told you.” When he had expounded to her the various things which she asked, and had instructed her concerning the things which she had need of, he returned to his solitary island and monastery, and continued his mode of life as he had commenced it.

§ 42. Not long after, in a full synod, Archbishop Theodore of blessed memory presiding in the presence of God’s chosen servant, the holy King Ecgfrid, he was unanimously elected to the bishopric of the see of Lindisfarne. But, although they sent many messengers and letters to him, he could not by any means be drawn from his habitation, until the king himself, above mentioned, sailed to the island attended by the most holy Bishop Trumwine, and by as many other religious and influential men as he could: they all went down on their knees before him, and adjured him by the Lord, with tears and entreaties, until they drew him away from his retirement with tears in his eyes, and took him to the synod. When arrived there, although much resisting, he was overcome by the unanimous wish of all, and compelled to submit to undertake the duties of the bishopric; yet the ordination did not take place immediately, but at the termination of the winter which was then beginning. And that his prophecies might be fulfilled in all things, Ecgfrid was killed the year afterwards in battle with the Picts, and was succeeded on the throne by his illegitimate brother Aldfrid, who, a few years before, had devoted himself to literature in Scotland, suffering a voluntary exile to gratify his love of science.








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com