THE  HISTORY  OF  THE  ENGLISH  CHURCH  AND  PEOPLE


by  BEDE



BOOK THREE



CHAPTER1: King Edwin s immediate successors abandon their people's Faith and lose their kingdom: the most Christian King Oswald restores both [A.D. 633-4]


After Edwin's death in battle, the kingdom of Deira,l to which his family belonged and where he began his reign, devolved upon Osric, son of Edwin's uncle Elfric, who had been baptized into the Christian Faith by Paulinus. But the kingdom of Bernicia - for the kingdom of the Northumbrians had anciently been divided into these two provinces - fell to Eanfrid, son of Ethelfrid, who claimed descent from the royal family of that province.


During the whole of Edwin's reign the sons of Ethelfrid his predecessor together with many young nobles lived in exile among the Scots or Picts and were there instructed in the teachings of the Scottish Church and received the grace of Baptism. But on the death of their enemy Edwin, they received permission to return to their own land, and Eanfrid, as eldest son, inherited the crown of Bernicia. As soon as they had obtained control of their earthly kingdoms, however, both these kings apostatized from the faith of the kingdom of heaven which they had accepted, and reverted to the corruption and damnation of their former idolatry.


Not long afterwards they were justly punished by meeting their death at the hands of the godless Cadwalla, king of the Britons. First Osric next summer was rashly besieging him in a strong city when Cadwalla, making a sudden sally with his entire force, caught him off his guard and destroyed him with his whole army. After this, for a full year, Cadwalla ruled the Northumbrian provinces, not as a victorious king but as a savage tyrant, ravaging them with ghastly slaughter until at length he also destroyed Eanfrid, who had unwisely visited him to negotiate peace accompanied only by twelve picked soldiers. This year remains accursed and hateful to all good men, not only on account of the apostasy of the English kings, by which they divested themselves of the sacraments of the Faith, but also because of the savage tyranny of the British king. Hence all those calculating the reigns of kings have agreed to expunge the memory of these apostate kings and to assign this year to the reign of their successor King Oswald, a man beloved of God. This king, after the death of his brother Eanfrid, mustered an army small in numbers but strong in the faith of Christ; and despite Cadwalla's vast forces, which he boasted of as irresistible, the infamous British leader was killed at a place known by the English as Denisesburn, that is, the Brook of Denis.


CHAPTER 2: Before engaging the heathen in battle King Oswald sets up a wooden cross: a young man is later healed by a portion of it and innumerable other miracles take place [A.D.634]


When King Oswald was about to give battle to the heathen, he set up the sign of the holy cross and, kneeling down, asked God that He would grant his heavenly aid to those who trusted in Him in their dire need. The place is pointed out to this day and held in great veneration. It is told that, when the cross had been hurriedly made and a hole dug to receive it, the devout king with ardent faith took the cross and placed it in position, holding it upright with his own hands until the soldiers had thrown in the earth and it stood firm. This done he summoned his army with a loud shout, crying, “Let us all kneel together, and ask the true and living God Almighty of His mercy to protect us from the arrogant savagery of our enemies, since He knows that we fight in a just cause to save our nation.” The whole army did as he ordered and, advancing against the enemy at the first light of dawn, won the victory that their faith deserved. At this spot where the king prayed, innumerable miracles of heahing are known to have been performed, which serve as a reminder and a proof of the King's faith. Even to this day many folk take splinters of wood from this holy cross, which they put into water, and when any sick men or beasts drink of it or are sprinkled with it, they are at once restored to health.


This place is called in English Hefenfelth meaning 'the heavenly field', which name, bestowed upon it long ago, was a sure omen of events to come, portending that there the heavenly sign would be set up, a heavenly victory won, and heavenly wonders shown. It lies on the northern side of the wall which the Romans built from sea to sea, as I have related, to protect Britain from the attacks of the barbarous peoples. The brothers of the church of Hexham, which lies not far away, have long been accustomed to make a yearly pilgrimage here on the eve of the anniversary of Oswald's death in order to keep vigil for the welfare of his soul, to recite the psalter, and to offer the Holy Sacrifice for him at dawn. By a further development of this good custom, the brothers have recently built a church on the spot, which has made it honoured and hallowed above all others. This is very fitting, for we know that there was no emblem of the Christian Faith, no church, and no altar in the whole of Bernicia until the new Christian leader Oswald, moved by his devotion to the Faith, set up this standard of the holy cross before giving battle to his relentless enemies.


[WE  ARE  IN  THE  CLEAR  THOUGHT  OF  BEDE’S  ROMAN  CATHOLIC  FAITH  AND  SOME  HISTORY  OF  THE  TIMES  -  Keith Hunt]


It is not irrelevant to mention one of the many miracles that have taken place at this cross. A few years ago, one of the brothers of the church of Hexham named Bothelm, who is still living, was walking unwarily on the ice at night, when he suddenly fell and fractured an arm. He suffered such agonizing pain from it that he could not even raise his hand to his mouth. At length, hearing that another brother had decided to go up next day to the site of the cross, he begged him to bring back a piece of its revered wood, saying that by this means he trusted that God would grant him healing. The brother carried out his request, and as he returned at night when the brothers were seated at their evening meal, he passed the sick man a bit of the old moss that grew on the surface of the cross. Being at table, the brother had nowhere to keep the proffered gift, so he thrust it next his breast, and when he retired, forgot to take it out. But, waking up in the middle of the night, he felt something cold at his side, and thrusting in his hand to feel what it was, found that his arm was whole and sound as if he had never suffered such great pain.


[ONCE  MORE  WE  MUST  REMEMBER  SUCK  MIRACULOUS  HEALINGS  CAN  BE  DONE  BY  THE  SPIRITS  OF  DARKNESS;  THIS  WOULD  MAKE  IT  VERY  DIFFICULT  TO  INSTRUCT  THOSE  WHO  HAVE  EXPERIENCED  SUCH  HEALINGS  TO  EVER  ACKNOWLEDGE  THAT  THEIR  CHURCH  IS  THE  WHORE  BABYLON  MYSTERY  RELIGION;  NOT  THE  TRUE  CHURCH  OF  GOD  AT  ALL.  BUT THE  VERY  TOOL  OF  SATAN  THAT  HAS  DECEIVED   THE  WHOLE  WORLD  -  Keith Hunt]  


CHAPTER 3: Oswald asks the Scots to send him a bishop: when Aidan arrives, he grants him the island of Lindisfarne as his episcopal see [A.D. 635]


PASSOVER/EASTER  ISSUE  AGAIN  RISES


As soon as he became king, Oswald greatly wished that all the people whom he ruled should be imbued with the grace of the Christian Faith, of which he had received such signal proof in his victory over the heathen. So he sent to the Scottish elders among whom he and his companions had received the sacrament of Baptism when in exile, asking them to send him a bishop by whose teaching and ministry the English people over whom he ruled might receive the blessings of the Christian Faith and the sacraments. His request was granted without delay, and they sent him Bishop Aidan, a man of outstanding gentleness, holiness, and moderation. He had a zeal in God, but not according to knowledge, in that he kept Easter in accordance with the customs of his own nation, which, as I have several times observed, was between the fourteenth and twentieth days of the moon. For the northern province of the Scots and all the Picts still observed these customs, believing that they were following the teachings of the holy and praiseworthy father Anatolius, although the true facts are evident to any scholar. But the Scots in the south of Ireland had already conformed to the injunctions of the Bishop of the apostolic see, and learnt to observe Easter at the canonical time.


On Aidan's arrival, the king appointed the island of Lindisfarne to be his see at his own request. As the tide ebbs and flows, this place is surrounded by sea twice a day like an island, and twice a day the sand dries and joins it to the mainland. The king always listened humbly and readily to Aidan's advice and diligently set himself to establish and extend the Church of Christ throughout his kingdom. And while the bishop, who was not fluent in the English language, preached the Gospel, it was most delightful to see the king himself interpreting the word of God to his ealdorman and thanes; for he himself had obtained perfect command of the Scottish tongue during his long exile. Henceforward many Scots arrived day by day in Britain and proclaimed the word of God with great devotion in all the provinces under Oswald's rule, while those of them who were in priest's orders ministered the grace of Baptism to those who believed. Churches were built in several places, and the people flocked gladly to hear the word of God, while the king of his bounty gave lands and endowments to establish monasteries, and the English, both noble and simple, were instructed by their Scots teachers to observe a monastic life.


For most of those who came to preach were monks, Aidan himself being a monk sent from the island of Hii,1 whose monastery was for a long time the principal monastery of nearly all the northern Scots and all the Picts and exercised a widespread authority. The island itself belongs to Britain, and is separated from the mainland only by a narrow strait; but the Picts living in that part of Britain gave it to the Scots monks long ago, because they received the Faith of Christ through their preaching.

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1. Iona. 145

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CHAPTER 4: How the Picts received the Faith of Christ [A.D. 565]


In the year of our Lord 565, when Justin the Younger succeeded Justinian and ruled as Emperor of Rome, a priest and abbot named Columba, distinguished by his monastic habit and life, came from Ireland to Britain to preach the word of God in the provinces of the northern Picts, which are separated from those of the southern Picts by a range of steep and desolate mountains.1


The southern Picts, who live on this side of the mountains, are said to have abandoned the errors of idolatry long before this date and accepted the true Faith through the preaching of Bishop Ninian, a most reverend and holy man of British race, who had been regularly instructed in the mysteries of the Christian Faith in Rome. Ninian's own episcopal see, named after Saint Martin and famous for its stately church, is now held by the English, and it is here that his body and those of many saints lie at rest. The place belongs to the province of Bernicia and is commonly known as Candida Casa, the White House,2 because he built the church of stone, which was unusual among the Britons.


Columba arrived in Britain in the ninth year of the reign of the powerful Pictish king, Bride son of Meilochon; he converted that people to the Faith of Christ by his preaching and example, and received from them the island of Iona on which to found a monastery. Iona is a small island, with an area of about five hides according to English reckoning, and his successors hold it to this day. It was here that Columba died and was buried at the age of seventy-seven, some thirty-two years after he had come into Britain to preach. Before he came to Britain, he had founded a noble monastery in Ireland known in the Scots language as Dearmach, the Field of Oaks, 3 because of the oak forest in which it stands. From both of these monasteries Columba's disciples went out and

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1. The Grampians.

2. Whithorn.

3. Durrow.

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founded many others in Britain and Ireland; but the monastery on the isle of Iona, where his body lies, remains the chief of them all.


Iona is always ruled by an abbot in priest's orders, to whose authority the whole province, including the bishops, is subject, contrary to the usual custom. This practice was established by its first abbot Columba, who was not a bishop himself, but a priest and monk. His life and sayings are said to have been recorded in writing by his disciples. But whatever type of man he may have been, we know for certain that he left successors distinguished for their purity of life, their love of God, and their loyalty to the monastic rule. In observing the great Feast of Easter they followed doubtful rules; for being so isolated from the rest of the world, there was no one to acquaint them with the synodical decrees about the keeping of Easter. But they diligently followed whatever pure and devout customs they learned in the prophets, the Gospels, and the writings of the Apostles. They held to their own manner of keeping Easter for another 150 years, until the year of our Lord 715.


In that year the most reverend and holy father, Bishop Egbert, an Englishman, who had spent many years of exile in Ireland for love of Christ, and was most learned in the scriptures, and renowned for lifelong holiness came and corrected their error, and they changed to the right canonical customs for observing Easter. This error was that they kept Easter not, as some supposed, on the fourteenth day of the moon, as do the Jews, but on the Sunday of the wrong week. For as Christians they knew well that the Resurrection of our Lord took place on the first day after the Sabbath and should always be kept on that day. But being barbarous and simple, they had not learned when this first day after the Sabbath, which is now called the Lord's Day, should occur. Yet, since they did not fail in the fervent grace of charity, they were worthy to learn the full truth in this matter in accordance with the Apostle's promise, when he said: 'And if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.’ But I shall speak of this more fully in its proper place.


[ONCE  MORE  BEDE  INVOLVES  HIS  ROMAN  CHURCH  AS  BEING  THE  ONE  AND  ONLY  TRUE  CHURCH,  SO  HENCE  IT  IS  THEY (ROME) THAT  ARE  CORRECT  ON  THE  DATE  OF  OBSERVING  THE  TIME  OF  OUR  LORD’S  DEATH  -  Keith Hunt]


CHAPTER 5: The Life of Bishop Aidan[Died A.D.651]


IT was from this island and from this community of monks (while the abbot and priest Segenus was ruling there) that Aidan was sent, when he had been made bishop, to preach the Faith of Christ to a province of the English. Among other evidences of holy life, he gave his clergy an inspiring example of self-discipline and continence, and the highest recommendation of his teaching to all was that he and his followers lived as they taught. He never sought or cared for any worldly possessions, and loved to give away to the poor who chanced to meet him whatever he received from kings or wealthy folk. Whether in town or country, he always travelled on foot unless compelled by necessity to ride; and whatever people he met on his walks, whether high or low, he stopped and spoke to them. If they were heathen, he urged them to be baptized; and if they were Christians, he strengthened their faith, and inspired them by word and deed to live a good life and to be generous to others.


[CERTAINLY  HUMILITY  THEN  WAS  HIGH,  NO  FANCY  EXPENSIVE  LIFE-STYLE  WAS  EVEN  DREAMED  OF  BY  THESE  HUMBLE  MEN;  NOT  SO  TODAY,  WHERE  WE  HAVE  WITNESSED  MANY  SO-CALLED  “MINISTERS”  OF  THE  LORD,  LIVING  IN  LUXURIOUS  HOMES,  WITH  EXPENSIVE  DECORATIONS,  CARS  AND  EVEN  AIR-PLANES  -  Keith Hunt]


His life is in marked contrast to the apathy of our own times, for all who walked with him, whether monks or lay-folk, were required to meditate, that is, either to read the scriptures or to learn the Psalms. This was their daily occupation wherever they went; and if, on rare occasions, he was invited to dine with the king, he went with one or two clerics, and when he had eaten sparingly, he left as soon as possible to read or pray with them. Many devout men and women of that day were inspired to follow his example, and adopted the practice of fasting until Noon on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year, except during the fifty days after Easter. If wealthy people did wrong, he never kept silent out of respect or fear, but corrected them outspokenly.


[AGAIN  SOME  LESSONS  HERE  FOR  MINISTERS  OF  THE  LORD  TODAY  -  Keith Hunt]


Nor would he offer money to influential people, although he offered them food whenever he entertained them as host. But, if the wealthy ever gave him gifts of money, he either distributed it for the needs of the poor, as I have mentioned, or else used it to ransom any who had unjustly been sold as slaves, Many of those whom he had ransomed in this way later became his disciples; and when they had been instructed and trained, he ordained them to the priesthood.


[THEY,  THE  CLERGY  OF  THAT  DAY,  KNEW  SLAVERY  WAS  VERY  WRONG!  SUCH  WOULD  BECOME  HUGE  BUSINESS  IN  THE  1800s  and  would  take  great  men  like  WILLIAM  WILBERFORCE  and  his  friends,  including  Prime  Minister  PITT,  to  OUTLAW.  BRITAIN  became  to  first  Western  nation  to  outlaw  and  abolish  SLAVERY.  Concerning  WILBERFORCE  and  others  with  him,  there  is  the  movie  made  about  it  all  called  -  SAVING  GRACE  -  a  must  see  movie  for  everyone  -  Keith Hunt]


It is said that when King Oswald originally asked the Scots to send a bishop to teach the Faith of Christ to himself and his people, they sent him another man of a more austere disposition. After some time, meeting with no success in his preaching to the English, who refused to listen to him, he returned home and reported to his superiors that he had been unable to achieve anything by teaching to the nation to whom they had sent him, because they were an ungovernable people of an obstinate and barbarous temperament. The Scots fathers therefore held a great conference to decide on the wisest course of action; for while they regretted that the preacher whom they had sent had not been acceptable to the English, they still wished to meet their desire for salvation. Then Aidan, who was present at the conference, said to the priest whose efforts had been unsuccessful: “Brother, it seems to me that you were too severe on your ignorant hearers. You should have followed the practice of the Apostles, and begun by giving them the milk of simpler teaching, and gradually nourished them with the word of God until they were capable of greater perfection and able to follow the loftier precepts of Christ.” At this the faces and eyes of all who were at the conference were turned towards him; and they paid close attention to all he said, and realized that here was a fit person to be made bishop and sent to instruct the ignorant and unbelieving, since he was particularly endowed with the grace of discretion, the mother of virtues. They therefore consecrated him bishop, and sent him to preach. Time was to show that Aidan was remarkable not only for discretion, but for the other virtues as well.


Such then was the bishop who brought knowledge of the Faith to King Oswald and the English people under his rule. Thus instructed, Oswald not only learned to hope for the kingdom of heaven, which had been unknown to his ancestors, but was also granted by Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, an earthly kingdom greater than they enjoyed. For at length he brought under his sceptre all the peoples and provinces of Britain speaking the four languages, British, Pictish, Scottish, and English.


Although he reached such a height of power, Oswald was always wonderfully humble, kindly, and generous to the poor and strangers. The story is told how on the Feast of Easter one year, Oswald sat down to dine with Bishop Aidan. A silver dish of rich food was set before him, and they were on the point of raising their hands to bless the food, when the servant who was appointed to relieve the needs of the poor came in suddenly and informed the king that a great crowd of needy folk were sitting in the road outside begging alms of the king. Oswald at once ordered his own food to be taken out to the poor, and the silver dish to be broken up and distributed among them. The bishop, who was sitting beside him, was deeply moved to see such generosity, and taking hold of the king's right hand, exclaimed. “May this hand never wither with age.” Later events proved that his prayer was heard; for when Oswald was killed in battle, his hand and arm were severed from his body, and they remain uncorrupted to this day. They are preserved as venerated relics in a silver casket at the church of Saint Peter in the royal city, which is called after a former queen named Bebba.1


Through King Oswald's diplomacy the provinces of Deira and Bernicia, formerly hostile to each other, were peacefully united and became one people. Oswald was nephew to King

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I. Bebbanburh, now Bamburgh. 

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Edwin by his sister Acha; and it is fitting that so great a predecessor should have had so worthy a man of his own blood to maintain his religion and his throne.


[THIS  SHOWS,  WHAT  IN  MANY  WAYS  IS  THE  LIVING  PHYSICAL  KINDNESSES,  THAT  SHOULD  AUTOMATICALLY  COME  FROM  CHRISTIANS  IN  HIGH  PLACES;  FEW  VERY  FEW  “WEALTHY”  PEOPLE  WHO  SAY  THEY  ARE  CHRISTIAN,  PRACTICE  THIS  WAY  OF  LIFE….. SERVING  THE  GENUINELY  POOR  AND  NEEDY  PEOPLE  -  Keith Hunt]


CHAPTER7: The West Saxons accept the Faith through the teaching of Birinus and his successors Agilbert and Leutherius [A.D.635)


At that time, during the reign of Cynigils, the West. Saxons, anciently known as the Gewissae, accepted the Faith of Christ through the preaching of Bishop Birinus. He had come to Britain at the direction of Pope Honorius [I], having promised in his presence that he would sow the seeds of our holy Faith in the most inland and remote regions of the English, where no other teacher had been before him. He was accordingly consecrated bishop by Asterius, Bishop of Genoa, at the Pope's command; but when he had reached Britain and entered the territory of the Gewissae, he found them completely heathen, and decided that it would be better to begin to preach the word of God among them rather than seek more distant converts. He therefore evangelized that province, and when he had instructed its king, he baptized him and his people. It happened at the time that the most holy and victorious Oswald was present, and greeted King Cynigils as he came from the font, and offered him an alliance most acceptable to God, taking him as his godson and his daughter as wife. The two kings gave Bishop Birinus the city of Dorcic1 for his episcopal see, and there he built and dedicated several churches and brought many people to God by his holy labours. He also died and was buried there; and many years later, when Haeddi was bishop, his body was translated to Venta2 and laid in the church of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul. On the death of Cynigils, his son Coenwalh succeeded to

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1. Dorchester (Oxon.).

2. Winchester.

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the throne, but refused to accept the Faith and sacraments of the heavenly kingdom. Not long afterwards he lost his earthly kingdom also. For he put away his wife, who was sister of Penda, King of the Mercians, and took another woman. This led to war, and Coenwalh was driven out of his kingdom by Penda and took refuge with Anna, King of the East Angles. There he lived in exile for three years, during which he learned the Christian Faith and received Baptism. For Anna his host was a good man and blessed with good and holy children, as I shall mention later.


When Coenwalh had been restored to his kingdom, there arrived in the province a bishop from Gaul named Agilbert, who had been studying the scriptures in Ireland for many years. This bishop came to the king and voluntarily undertook to evangelize the country. Appreciating his learning and enthusiasm, the king asked him to accept an episcopal see and remain in the province as his chief bishop. Agilbert acceded to the king's request and presided as bishop for many years. Later, however, the king, who understood only Saxon, grew tired of the bishop's foreign speech, and invited to the province a bishop of his own tongue called Wini, who had also been consecrated in Gaul; and dividing his kingdom into two dioceses, he gave Wini the city of Venta - known by the Saxons as Wintancaestir - as his see. This action gravely offended Agilbert, as the king had not consulted him in the matter, and he returned to Gaul, where he became Bishop of Paris and ended his days there at an advanced age. Not many years after Agilbert's departure from Britain, Wini was also driven from his bishopric by the king, and took refuge with Wulfhere, King of the Mercians, to whom he offered money for the Bishopric of London, which he held till his death. So for a considerable time the province of the West Saxons remained without any bishop.

During this interval King Coenwalh often suffered great damage to his kingdom from his enemies. Eventually he remembered that he had formerly been driven from his throne because of his infidelity and had been restored to it after his acceptance of the Christian Faith, and realized that his kingdom was now justly deprived of God's protection because it had no bishop. He therefore sent messengers to Agilbert in Gaul, offering him satisfaction and requesting him to return to his bishopric. But Agilbert sent his regrets and said that it was impossible for him to return, since he was now responsible for his own bishopric and city of Paris. But, not wishing to reject such an urgent appeal for help, he sent in his place his nephew, the priest Leutherius,1 to be consecrated as his bishop if the king were agreeable, recommending him as worthy of a bishopric. Both king and people welcomed Leutherius with honour, and asked Theodore, then Archbishop of Canterbury, to consecrate him their bishop. He was accordingly consecrated at Canterbury, and for many years wisely ruled the West Saxon see alone with the full support of the synod.


CHAPTER 8: Earconhert, King of Kent, orders the destruction of idols. His daughter Earcongota and his kinswoman Ethelberga dedicate themselves to God as nuns[A.D. 640]


In the year of our Lord 640, King Eadbald of Kent departed this life, and his son Earconbert succeeded to the government of the realm, which he ruled most nobly for over twenty-four years and some months. He was the first of the English kings to give orders for the complete abandonment and destruction of idols throughout his realm, and for the observance of the Lenten fast, enforcing his decrees by suitable penalties for disobedience. His daugnter Earcongota, who shared her father's zeal, was a nun of outstanding virtue, who served God in a convent in Frankish territory founded by the noble Abbess Fara at a place called Brie: for as yet there were few monasteries built in English territory, and many who 

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1. A Latinized form of the name Hlothere.

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wished to enter conventual life went from Britain to the Frankish realm or Gaul for the purpose. Girls of noble family were also sent there for their education, or to be betrothed to their heavenly Bridegroom, especially to the houses of Brie, Chelles, and Andelys; among such girls were Saethryd, step-daughter of King Anna of East Anglia, already mentioned, and Ethelberga his own daughter. Although foreigners, both were of such merit that they became Abbesses of Brie. Sexburg, Anna's eldest daughter, and wife to King Earconbert of Kent, was the mother of Earcongota, who deserves especial mention.


To this day the people of the district tell stories of the wonderful deeds and miracles of the nun Earcongota; but I must restrict myself to a brief account of her passing to the heavenly kingdom. When she felt her call approaching, she set out to visit the cells of all the infirm handmaids of Christ, especially those who were of a great age or were most esteemed for their holiness of life, and humbly commending herself to their prayers, she revealed to them how she had received intimation of her coming death. She told how, in a vision, she had seen a company of men in white robes entering the monastery, and when she asked them what they were looking for and what they wanted, they replied: “We have been sent to bring away with us the golden coin that was brought here from Kent.” And on the very night when, as dawn drew near, she left the darkness of this world and entered the light of heaven, many brethren of the monastery, who lived in separate buildings, said that they had clearly heard choirs of angels singing and a sound like that of a great throng entering the monastery. And when they came out to discover what it might be, they saw a great light coming down from heaven, which carried away the holy soul of Earcongota, freed from the bonds of the body, to the eternal joys of heaven. Other miracles are reported to have taken place in the monastery that night; but these I leave to her own people to recount, while I turn to other matters. The venerable body of this virgin and spouse of Christ was laid to rest in the church of the blessed Protomartyr Saint Stephen. Three days later it was decided to take up the stone slab covering the grave, and replace the body at a greater depth. While this was taking place, a perfume of such fragrance rose from below that it seemed to all the brethren and sisters standing round as though a store of balm had been unsealed.


Ethelberga, aunt of Earcongota, also preserved with strict self-discipline the glory of the perpetual virginity beloved by God, and the extent of her holiness became even more apparent after her death. For while she was abbess she began building within her monastery a church in honour of all the Apostles, in which she wished to be buried; but when the work was only half done, she was prevented by death from completing it and was buried within the church in a spot that she had chosen. After her death the brethren became wholly occupied in other matters, and the building of the church was discontinued for seven years. At the end of this period they decided to abandon an undertaking that had proved too great for their resources, and to remove the abbess' bones to another church that was already completed and consecrated. When they opened the tomb, they Found the body untouched by decay as it had been by the corruption of sinful desires. So having washed it, and clothed it in fresh garments, they removed it to the church of Saint Stephen the Martyr. Her feast-day is kept there with great splendour on the seventh of July.


[MORE  ROMAN  CATHOLIC  MIRACLES,  IF  IT  WAS  INDEED  SO.  ONCE  MORE  SUCH  MIRACLES  PERFORMED  BY  THE  DARK  WORLD,  WOULD  GIVE  ASSURANCE  TO  ROMAN  CATHOLICS  THAT  THEY  AND  ONLY  THEY,  WERE  THE  TRUE  CHURCH  OF  GOD  -  Keith Hunt]


CHAPTER 9: Miraculous cures take place at the site of Oswald's death. A traveller’s horse is cured, and a paralytic girl healed


Oswald, the most Christian king of the Northumbrians, reigned for nine years, if Owe include the fatal year made abhorrent by the callous impiety of the British king Cadwalla and the insane apostasy of the English kings (Osric and Eanfrid): for it has been generally agreed that the names of these apostates should be erased from the list of Christian kings and the year of their reign ignored. At the end of this period Oswald fell in a fierce battle fought at the place called in English Maserfelth1 against the same heathen Mercians and their heathen king, who had also slain his predecessor Edwin. He died on the fifth of August 642, when he was thirty-eight years of age.


Oswald's great devotion and faith in God was made evident by the miracles that took place after his death. For at the place where he was killed fighting for his country against the heathen, sick men and beasts are healed to this day. Many people took away the very dust from the place where his body fell, and put it in water, from which sick folk who drank it received great benefit. This practice became so popular that, as the earth was gradually removed, a pit was left in which a man could stand. But it is not to be wondered at that the sick received healing at the place of his death; for during his lifetime he never failed to provide for the sick and needy and to give them alms and aid. Many miracles are reported as having occurred at this spot, or by means of the earth taken from it; but I will content myself with two, which I have heard from my elders.


[WE  SEE  AGAIN  THE  STORIES  OF  MIRACLES  IN  THE  ROMAN  CATHOLIC  CHURCH;  TO  DOUBT  I  WILL  NOT,  FOR  MIRACLES  MUST  THEN,  FOR  DEVOTEES  OF  ROME,  HAMMER  HOME  THAT  THEY  ARE  GOD’S  CHURCH,  WHICH  THEY  ARE  NOT  -  Keith Hunt]


Not long after Oswald's death, a man happened to be riding near the place when his horse suddenly showed signs of distress. It stopped and hung its head, roaming at the mouth, and as its pains increased, it collapsed on the ground. The rider dismounted, removed the saddle, and waited to see whether the beast was going to recover or to die. At length, having tossed this way and that in great pain for a considerable time, it rolled on to the spot where the great king had died. Immediately the pain ceased, and the horse stopped its wild struggles; then, having rolled on its other side, as tired beasts do, it got up fully recovered and began to graze. The 

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1. Probably Oswestry.

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traveller, an observant man, concluded that the place where his horse was cured must possess especial sanctity, and when he had marked it, he mounted and rose on to the inn where he intended to lodge. On his arrival he found a girl, the niece of the landlord, who had long suffered from paralysis; and when members of the household in his presence were deploring the girl's disease, he began to tell them about the place where his horse had been cured. So they put the girl into a cart, took her to the place, and laid her down. Once there she fell asleep for a short while; and, on awaking, she found herself restored to health. She asked for water and washed her face; then she tidied her hair, adjusted her linen headgear, and returned home on foot in perfect health with those who had brought her.


CHAPTER 10: How the earth from this place has power over fire


About this time another man, a Briton by race, is said to have been crossing the ground where this battle had been fought, and noticing that one spot was more green and beautiful than the rest of the field, he came to the wise conclusion that there could be no other explanation for this exceptional greenness but that some person of greater sanctity than anyone else in the army had been slain there. So he took away some of the earth wrapped up in a. linen cloth, thinking that, as the event proved, it might have power to heal the sick. Proceeding on his journey, he arrived that night at a village and entered a house where some neighbours were having a feast. He was welcomed by the owners of the house, and when he had hung the cloth containing the earth on a beam of the wall, he sat down to share their meal. They had sat eating and drinking for a long while around a blazing fire in the centre of the room, when sparks flew up into the roof of the house, which was made of wattles thatched with hay, and quickly burst into flame. When the fuddled revellers realized this, they rushed out of the burning house in terror, powerless to extinguish the blaze. The house burned down, and only the beam from which the earth hung remained whole and untouched by the flames. When they saw this miracle, they were all astonished, and after making careful enquiry, they found that the man had taken the earth from the place where Oswald's blood had been shed. These marvels were reported far and wide, and many folk began to visit the place each day and obtained healing for themselves and their Families.


[INDEED THERE  IS  NO  REASON  TO  NOT  BELIEVE  THESE  KINDS  OF  MIRACLES  HAVE  HAPPENED  IN  THE  ROMAN  CATHOLIC  FAITH;  THE  DEMONIC  WORLD  IS  QUITE  CAPABLE  OF  DOING  SUCH  MIRACLES.  WE  FIND  IN  THE  BOOK  OF  REVELATION  THE  FALSE  PROPHET (POPE  OF  THE  ROMAN  CHURCH)  WILL  DO  MIRACLES  AT  THE  END  TIME,  TO  DECEIVE  MILLIONS  UPON  MILLIONS  OF  PEOPLE  AROUND  THE  WORLD,  THAT  HE  REPRESENTS  GOD  ON  EARTH.  SUCH  JESUS  SAID  WILL  BE  SO  STRONG  A  DELUSION  IF  IT  WAS  POSSIBLE,  EVEN  THE  VERY  ELECT  WOULD  BE  DECEIVED - Keith Hunt]


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TO  BE  CONTINUED