icon_bede-He was troubled with weakness and chiefly with difficulty in breathing, yet almost without pain, for about a fortnight before the day of our Lord’s Resurrection.

And thus he afterwards passed his time, cheerful and rejoicing, giving thanks to Almighty God every day and night, nay, every hour, till the day of our Lord’s Ascension…, and daily gave lessons to us, his disciples.

And whatsoever remained of the day he spent in singing psalms, as far as he was able; he also strove to pass all the night joyfully in prayer and thanksgiving to God, save only when a short sleep prevented it.

And then he no sooner awoke than he straightway began again to repeat the well-known sacred songs, and ceased not to give thanks to God with uplifted hands.

I declare with truth that I have never seen with my eyes, or heard with my ears, any man so earnest in giving thanks to the living God. O truly blessed man!

[…] He also sang antiphons for our comfort and his own. One of these is, ‘O King of Glory, Lord of all power, Who, triumphing this day, didst ascend above all the heavens, leave us not comfortless, but send to us the promise of the Father, even the Spirit of Truth—Hallelujah.’

And when he came to the words, ‘leave us not comfortless,’ he burst into tears and wept much. And an hour after, he fell to repeating what he had begun. And this he did the whole day, and we, hearing it, mourned with him and wept.

[…] He said, ‘…the time of my release is at hand; for my soul longs to see Christ my King in His beauty.’ Having said this and much more for our profit and edification, he passed his last day in gladness till the evening.

[…] And thus on the pavement of his little cell, chanting ‘Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,’ and the rest, he breathed his last.

And without doubt we must believe that inasmuch as he had always been devout and earnest on earth in the praise of God, his soul was carried by angels to the joys of Heaven which he desired.

And all who heard him or beheld the death of our father Bede, said that they had never seen any other end his life in so great devotion and peace.

For, as thou hast heard, so long as the soul abode in the body, he chanted the Gloria Patri and other words to the glory of God, and with outstretched hands ceased not to give thanks to God.

Cuthbert (an 8th century monk of Monkwearmouth-Jarrow): Letter to Cuthwin on the death of The Venerable Bede (672/4-735).

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