I Thessalonians 3.7-13; Psalm 89; Matthew 24.42-51
Aidan was an Irish monk (his Irish name was Naomh Aodhán) who joined the community at Iona and was sent to preach the Gospel in Northumbria. He was consecrated bishop in 635 and founded a monastic cathedral on the island of Lindisfarne, with the support of the pious King, St Oswald, and his successor, St Oswin. He lived a strictly ascetic life and travelled ceaselessly through the countryside, patiently converting both the Anglo-Saxon nobility and the socially disenfranchised (including children and slaves) by his gentle teaching and evident interest in their lives and communities. Schools, churches and monasteries were built throughout Northumbria, many made possible by Aidan’s own benevolence.
After St Aidan’s death in 651 the ‘Holy Island’ of Lindisfarne continued to produce many saints—holy abbots, bishops, teachers and missionaries—who were instrumental in the evangelisation of northern England and who made Lindisfarne the cradle of English Christianity, until the monastery was destroyed by Viking invaders around 793.