Witnesses to virtue

Pilgrims' Way to Holy Island (Lindisfarne)

Pilgrims' Way, across the sands at low tide, from the mainland to Holy Island (Lindisfarne) in the distance. © Oliver Dixon and licensed for reuse.

GRANT unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.

And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Acts 4:29-31.


THE venerable man of God, Cuthbert, adorned the office of bishop [of Lindisfarne, Northumbria], which he had undertaken, by the exercise of many virtues, according to the precepts and examples of the Apostles.

For he protected the people committed to his care with frequent prayers, and invited them to heavenly things by most wholesome admonitions, and followed that system which most facilitates teaching, by first doing himself what he taught to others.

He saved the needy man from the hand of the stronger, and the poor and destitute from those who would oppress them. He comforted the weak and sorrowful; but he took care to recall those who were sinfully rejoicing to that sorrow which is according to godliness.

Desiring still to exercise his usual frugality, he did not cease to observe the severity of a monastic life, amid the turmoil by which he was surrounded.

He gave food to the hungry, raiment to the shivering, and his course was marked by all the other particulars which adorn the life of a pontiff.

The miracles with which he shone forth to the world bore witness to the virtues of his own mind, some of which we have taken care briefly to hand down to memory.

St Bede, “Life of St Cuthbert”, Chapter 26. Translation from Mediaeval Sourcebook.


I WILL exalt thee, my God, my king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.

Every day will I bless thee, and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. The Lord is great, and greatly to be praised; and there is no end to his greatness.

Generation after generation shall praise thy works, and tell of thy power. And they shall speak of the glorious majesty of thy holiness, and recount thy wonders.

And they shall speak of the power of thy terrible acts; and recount thy greatness. They shall utter the memory of the abundance of thy goodness, and shall exult in thy righteousness. […]

The Lord is near to all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will perform the desire of them that fear him: and he will hear their supplication, and save them.

Psalm 144(145).


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