Update Wanderers For The Love of Christ

This week there are several Saints who have Feast Days.

Monday, August 27th - St Monica
Tuesday, August 28th - St Augustine of Hippo

My previous posts on the above two Saints is here.
Wednesday, August 29th - The Beheading of John the Baptist
Thursday, August 30th - St Fiacre.

 Image source

 Saint Fiacre was raised in an Irish monastery, which in the 7th century were great repositories of learning, including the use of healing herbs, a skill studied by Fiacre. His knowledge and holiness caused followers to flock to him, which destroyed the holy isolation he sought. 

Fleeing to France, he established a hermitage in a cave near a spring, and was given land for his hermitage by Saint Faro of Meaux, who was bishop at the time. 

 Image source

Saint Fiacre is also the patron saint of gardeners and taxi drivers.
Great site on St Fiacre here.

Friday, August 31st  - St Aidan of Lindisfarne

St Aidan of Lindisfarne
St Aidan of Lindisfarne (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)
St Aidan and Fiucre are part of a stream of missional Christian expression which goes back to St. Columba on Iona, and before him to the likes of St. Brendan


A distinctive tradition common across the Celtic world was the popularity of Pro Christi peregrinari volens; wandering for the love of Christ,

 The term peregrinatio is Latin, and referred to the state of living or sojourning away from one's homeland in Roman law. It was later used by the Church Fathers, in particular Saint Augustine of Hippo, who wrote that Christians should live a life of peregrinatio in the material world while awaiting the Kingdom of God
Augustine's version of peregrinatio spread widely throughout the Christian church, but it took two additional unique meanings in Celtic countries.[54]
In the first sense, the Celtic penitentials prescribed permanent or temporary peregrinatio as penance for certain infractions. Additionally, there was a tradition of undertaking a voluntary peregrinatio pro Christo, in which individuals permanently left their homes and put themselves entirely in God's hands.

 In the Irish tradition there were two types of such peregrinatio, the "lesser" peregrinatio, involving leaving one's home area but not the island, and the "superior" peregrinatio, which meant leaving Ireland for good. 

Most peregrini or exiles of this type were seeking personal spiritual fulfillment, but many became involved in missionary endeavors. The Briton Saint Patrick became the evangelist of Ireland during what he called his peregrinatio there, while Saint Samson left his home to ultimately become bishop in Brittany. The Irishmen Columba and Columbanus similarly founded highly important religious communities after leaving their homes.[54]

These Celtic pilgrims are special treasures from our Christian past: that of peregrinatio, wanderers, "wandering for the love of Christ". 

 This aspect of our faith has long roots in the biblical experiences of exile, exodus and journey, and was of such importance in the development of the early  ascetic and monastic movements in Christianity. 

Peregrinatio takes us far from the comfort zone of the familiar and known to a place where we let ourselves go and are released into God’s missional flow. 
Lindisfarne,or Holy Island, is a tidal island off the north-east coast of England and a sacred place to Celtic saints.
The name Lindisfarne derives from Farne meaning "retreat" and Lindis, a small tidal river adjacent to the island.
English: Lindisfarne. Lindisfarne is also know...
English: Lindisfarne. Lindisfarne is also known as "Holy Island". Lindisfarne's Norman priory stands on the site of an Anglo-Saxon monastery founded by St Aidan in A.D 635, on land granted by Oswald, King and Saint of Northumbria. http://www.thenortheast.fsnet.co.uk/Lindisfarne.htm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Statue of St Aidan and Lindisfarne Priory
 © Copyright Colin Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

In the year 635, St. Aidan the Irish monk came across from Iona on the West Coast of Scotland, which was the centre of Scottish Christianity to found a monastery at Holy Island / Lindisfarne. 
He came at the request of King Oswald of Northumbria.

 Aidan went to Lindisfarne as bishop and was known throughout the kingdom for his knowledge of the Bible, his learning, his eloquent preaching, his holiness, his distaste for pomp, his kindness to the poor, and the miracles attributed to him.

Aidan remained sixteen years on Iona, gently sharing Christ with the people of the area, who had been harshly described as stubborn and unreachable by his predecessor. 
He and his followers converted many in Northumbria to Christianity.  

The monastery at Lindisfarne became known as the English Iona and was a centre of learning and missionary activity for all of northern England.

 Legend has it that when St. Aidan died in August 651, a shepherd boy named Cuthbert was tending his flock of sheep on the Lammermuir Hills,when he had a vision of angels escorting Aidan's soul to heaven.  Later, Cuthbert himself became a monk and also came to Holy Island.

Aidan of Lindisfarne, born in Ireland, may have studied under St. Senan before becoming a monk at Iona.

He died in 651 at the royal castle at Bamburgh. 

This short video was made by Mark Fleeson on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, combining beautiful footage of the Island and also some of the artwork from 'Life Journey' (the book which inspired the music) by Mary Fleeson.  The music is the title track Life Journey , from the CD by Dave Bainbridge & David Fitzgerald.
Some of this video footage has been included within a DVD entitled 'Just Worship 3' (published by Active Media Publishing) and another DVD entitled 'Lindisfarne - A Cradle Of Christianity' (published by Lindisfarne Scriptorium). For more information go to www.lindisfarne-scriptorium.co.uk and www.ampublishing.net

During the 7th and 8th century the monks, like those in Iona who are thought to have made the Book of Kells under St. Columba’s direction, produced illuminated manuscripts.  The most famous of these are the stunning Lindisfarne Gospels, now in the British Library in London. 

The first Viking raids came at the end of the 8th century.  The monks fled, taking the body of St. Cuthbert with them.  (He now lies in Durham Cathedral.)  However, Vikings notwithstanding, there continued to be a monastery on the island until Henry VIII dissolved all the monasteries in England.  Holy Island continues to be a place of Christian pilgrimage and retreat.

The Venerable Bede, who did not always agree with Aidan, nevertheless, had this to say of his character in his masterwork: "Ecclesiastical History of the English People" (3:17)
“He neither sought nor loved anything of this world, but delighted in distributing immediately to the poor whatever was given him by kings or rich men. He traversed both town and country on foot, never on horseback, unless compelled by some urgent necessity. 

Wherever on his way he saw any, either rich or poor, he invited them, if pagans, to embrace the mystery of the faith; or if they were believers, he sought to strengthen them in their faith and stir them up by words and actions to alms and good works."..........

He cultivated peace and love, purity and humility; he was above anger and greed, and despised pride and conceit; he set himself to keep and teach the laws of God, and was diligent in study and in prayer...I greatly admire all these things about Aidan." 
More Information on Aidan's life here

© Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

This statue of Aidan was created by Kathleen Parbury in 1958. Terry Cavner says: 'arguably the holiest figure of Anglo-Saxon England'. Lindisfarne was founded by St. Aidan, an Irish monk, who came from Iona, the centre of Christianity in Scotland.

Lindisfarne is cut off from the mainland twice a day by the rising tides. 

Aidan used this imagery in his prayers to reflect the ebb and flow of his desire to be closed in with God, like the island at high tide,  and then to return to meet the world again.

The lives of these saints are powerful reminders of what it actually means to trust Jesus when he says “Follow me”. We cannot fully know what the journey will entail or where we will land. 

We cannot stem the tide of life and our faith rises and falls just like the rhythms of the sea.

Prayers of St Aidan

Leave me alone with God as much as may be.
As the tide draws the waters close in upon the shore,
Make me an island, set apart,
alone with you, God, holy to you.

Then with the turning of the tide
prepare me to carry your presence to the busy world beyond,
the world that rushes in on me
till the waters come again and fold me back to you.

Lord, this bare island,
make it a place of peace.

Here be the peace of those who do Thy will.

Here be the peace of brother and sister serving man.
Here be the peace of holy friends obeying.
Here be the peace of praise by dark and day.
Be this Island Thy Holy Island.

I, Lord, Thy servant, Aidan, make this prayer.
Be it Thy care.

The daily office of prayer used by the Northumbrian Community is recorded in Celtic Daily Prayer. Three times a day the prayer is recited at meals along with thousands of other Christians who do the same. 

Evening Celtic Prayer

 In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
My soul waits for the Lord
more than those
who watch for the morning,
more than those
who watch for the morning.

Call: Out of the depths I have cried to You.
Response: O Lord, hear my voice.
Call: With my whole heart I want to praise You.
Response: O Lord, hear my voice.
Call: If you, Lord, should mark iniquities:
Response: Who could stand? who could stand?

I will wait for the Lord.
My soul waits,
and in His word
do I hope.

Expressions of faith
Lord, You have always given
bread for the coming day;
and though I am poor,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
strength for the coming day;
and though I am weak,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
peace for the coming day;
and though of anxious heart,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always kept
me safe in trials;
and now, tried as I am,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always marked
the road for the coming day;
and though it may be hidden,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always lightened
this darkness of mine;
and though the night is here,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always spoken
when time was ripe;
and though you be silent now,
today I believe.

Prayers for others

In the shadow of Your wings
I will sing Your praises, O Lord.

The Lord is my light, my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the refuge of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

In the shadow of Your wings
I will sing Your praises, O Lord.

One thing I ask of the Lord,
one thing I seek;
to dwell in the presence of my God,
to gaze on Your holy place.

In the shadow of Your wings
I will sing Your praises, O Lord.

I believe I shall see the goodness
of the Lord in the land of the living.
O wait for the Lord!
Have courage and wait,
wait for the Lord.

In the shadow of Your wings
I will sing Your praises, O Lord.

See that you be at peace among yourselves, my children,
and love one another.
Follow the example of good men of old
and God will comfort you and help you,
both in this world
and in the world which is to come.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Northumbria Meditations for the day of the month 
Please click below on the day of the month, to be taken to the Meditation for today, which will open in a new window
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Click here for a beautiful slideshow of paintings from a place called the Lindisfarne Scriptorium by Mary Fleeson.

Folio 209v of the Lindisfarne Gospels showing ...
Folio 209v of the Lindisfarne Gospels showing John the Evangelist. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

End of 7th century
St Matthew End of 7th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The opening of St Luke's Gospel in th...
English: The opening of St Luke's Gospel in the Lindisfarne Gospels. Folio 139 recto. Media: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum Library number: Cotton MS Nero D.iv, f. 139 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interactive version of The Lindisfarne Gospels from here.
St Aidan and the Monks
Fantastic wooden statue depicting monks carrying the coffin of St. Aidan who founded the priory on Lindisfarne in the 8th Century.

© Copyright Gary Rogers and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
English: Monks carrying St Aidan Spectacular w...
English: Monks carrying St Aidan Spectacular wooden sculpture inside Lindisfarne Priory. Lighting effect courtesy of sunny day and stained glass window. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 Nice video of the Island below

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