icon_bede-October 26th was the feast of St Chad and St Cedd 

Cedd, whilst he was bishop among the East Saxons, was also wont oftentimes to visit his own province, Northumbria, for the purpose of exhortation.

Oidilwald, the son of King Oswald, who reigned among the Deiri, finding him a holy, wise, and good man, desired him to accept some land whereon to build a monastery, to which the king himself might frequently resort, to pray to the Lord and hear the Word, and where he might be buried when he died.

For he believed faithfully that he should receive much benefit from the daily prayers of those who were to serve the Lord in that place.

The king had before with him a brother of the same bishop, called Caelin, a man no less devoted to God, who, being a priest, was wont to administer to him and his house the Word and the Sacraments of the faith; by whose means he chiefly came to know and love the Bishop [Cedd].

So then, complying with the king’s desires, the Bishop chose himself a place whereon to build a monastery among steep and distant mountains, which looked more like lurking-places for robbers and dens of wild beasts, than dwellings of men;

to the end that, according to the prophecy of Isaiah, “In the habitation of dragons, where each lay, might be grass with reeds and rushes;” that is, that the fruits of good works should spring up, where before beasts were wont to dwell, or men to live after the manner of beasts.

But the man of God, desiring first to cleanse the place which he had received for the monastery from stain of former crimes, by prayer and fasting, and so to lay the foundations there, requested of the king that he would give him opportunity and leave to abide there for prayer all the time of Lent, which was at hand.

All which days, except Sundays, he prolonged his fast till the evening, according to custom, and then took no other sustenance than a small piece of bread, one hen’s egg, and a little milk and water.

This, he said, was the custom of those of whom he had learned the rule of regular discipline, first to consecrate to the Lord, by prayer and fasting, the places which they had newly received for building a monastery or a church.

When there were ten days of Lent still remaining, there came a messenger to call him to the king; and he, that the holy work might not be intermitted, on account of the king’s affairs, entreated his priest, Cynibill, who was also his own brother, to complete his pious undertaking.

The Venerable Bede (672/4-735): Ecclesiastical History of England, 3, 23.

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