Aidan of Lindisfarne, St.

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Monastic bishop; d. Bamborough, Aug. 31, 651. Aidan (Aedan) was of Irish descent and while a monk at Iona, was invited by King oswald to reconvert the lapsed Northumbrian race. Consecrated bishop in 635, he established his see in Lindisfarne. bede, almost the sole source of knowledge of the saint, praised his ascetic life and evangelical fervor, and told of his many miracles, but regretted his adherence to the schismatic practices of the Celtic Church, especially over the dating of Easter. Aidan had several famous pupils including SS. chad, Eata, and Hilda. Cuthbert, while keeping sheep, saw his soul being carried to heaven by angels. Some of Aidan's relics were taken to Ireland in 664. Others were removed from Lindisfarne in 875; in 995 they were translated to Durham with the body of St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne.

Feast: August 31.

Bibliography: d. adam, Flame in my heart: St Aidan for today (Harrisburg, Pa. 1998). bede, Ecclesiastical History 3.5, 1417. Acta Sanctorum Aug. 6: 688694. l. gougaud, Christianity in Celtic Lands, tr. m. joynt (London 1932). a. thomas, Brands from the burning (London 1937). m. creighton, Dictionary of National Biography 1:182183. a. m. zimmermann, Kalendarium Benedictinum (Metten 193338) 2:644. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 3:451452.

[b. colgrave]