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Aidan [1]

born in Ireland about A.D. 605, was sent, according to Bede, by the Scottish bishop, at the request of Oswald, king of Northumbria. as missionary bishop to the Northumbrians, about A.D. 635. Upon his arrival in Northumbria, he was appointed, at his own request, to the see of Lindisfarn, then first erected, on the island of that name. Here he set up the rule of St. Columban, and persuaded the king to establish the Church in his kingdom. "Often," says Bede, "might be seen a beautiful sight while the bishop (who was but imperfectly acquainted with the English tongue) preached, the king and his officers, who, owing to their long exile in Scotland, had acquired the language of that country, interpreted his words to the people." Bede says that "nothing more commended his doctrine to the attention of his hearers than the fact that, as he taught, so he himself lived, seeking for nothing and attaching himself to nothing which belonged to this world. All that the king gave him he quickly distributed to the poor: and never, unless when compelled to do so, did he travel through his diocese except on foot." He died August 31, 651, apparently broken- hearted at the death of the king, who, as he had predicted, perished by treachery twelve days before. He is commemorated in the Romish martyrology on the 31st of August. Bede, Eccl. Hist. lib. 3, cap. 3, 5, 14-17; Neander, Ch. Hist. 3, 21; Collier, Eccl. Hist. 1, 203.