17 April 2012

Gospel of St. Cuthbert to return home


Cuthbert of Lindisfarne:
Fresco in Durham Cathedral

I am delighted by the news that the Gospel of St. Cuthbert is returning home to Durham Cathedral.

Rather ironically, I was just reading about this very book in "In Search of England" by Michael Wood – an excellent book, by the way, for anyone interested in English history and heritage.

I would love to see Cuthbert's Gospel in person – it is said to be remarkably beautiful, and was worn by St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (my favorite saint, pictured at right) around his neck while on his travels around Northumbria. So I'm delighted to see the book returning home to Durham, and hope to someday see it in person in the world's most beautiful cathedral, which is home to the shrine of Cuthbert. It would be a return trip for me as well, having visited the cathedral and shrine in 1994, and I've been wanting to go back for a long time – now I have an even better reason to do so.

[Cuthbert] was wonderfully forbearing and his courage in bearing hardship in body and mind was unsurpassed [...] . Such was his zeal for prayer that sometimes he kept vigil for three or four nights in a row without ever sleeping in his bed. Whether he was praying alone in some hidden place or reciting the psalms, he always did manual work to fight off the heaviness of sleep.

From the "Life of St. Cuthbert", The Venerable Bede