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    STUDIA THEOLOGIA ORTHODOXA - Issue no. 1 / 2006  

  Abstract:  St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne and his spiritual mission in the Anglo-Saxon territories. From the early Christian centuries the monks living in communities as well as the hermits from East or West played a crucial role in converting the peoples to Christianity. Among these men dedicated to God there were also the missionary monks coming from Ireland or from the Roman Empire, the most famous being St. Paulinus, Aedan and Cuthbert, which preached the Good News to the Anglo-Saxon peoples from Northumbria during the 7th and the 8th century. This period is known as ‘the golden age’ of Northumbria, ‘one of the most amazing flowerings of culture known’. The first to arrive in Northumbria is St. Paulinus, sent from Rome together with some other missionaries by the Pope Gregory the Great, in order to accomplish the evangelical mission already begun by St. Augustine in Kent. Paulinus will become Princess Ethelberga of Kent’s chaplain and, after the marriage of the later with King Edwin of Northumbria he will set out for the North, where he will baptize Edwin and the inhabitants from that region. After King Edwin’s death, who dies in a battle in 633, Queen Ethelberga and Paulinus will leave the North for the South. Their mission will be carried on by the Irish monks of Iona Monastery who, guided by the bishop Aedan, will go all over Northumbria, baptizing the people from those regions. St. Cuthbert is born in those days in a rich family in Northumbria. Having been named bishop, Cuthbert will carry on the missionary and the spiritual work of the monks who have founded the beautiful monasteries from the British islands. St. Cuthbert will interweave in a harmonious way the solitary life with his social mission, becoming one of the most popular and cherished English saints. He received shortly the fame of a wonder-worker and in our days he is considered England’s Saint Seraphim of Sarov. Details depicting his sanctifying and spiritual work are to be found in his two biographies, one written by an anonymous monk from the Lindisfarne Monastery, the other by Venerable Bede (†735), called ‘the father of English history’.  
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