|St. Cuthbert window at Durham Cathedral.|
I was able to visit many of these places on a recent trip to Northern England and was happy to find that these saints are not mere historical artifacts but remembered and venerated as ancient mothers and fathers of a living Church.
|^ Church of St. Mary the Virgin with reredos of Lindisfarne saints and carpet from gospels.|
< The Pilgrims way across the sands.
|Ruined chapel on St. Cuthbert's Isle off of Lindisfarne.|
|Shrine on the spot where St. Aidan died.|
After Lindisfarne I journeyed to the parish church of St. Aidan in Bamburgh. St. Aidan first came to Bamburgh when King Oswald sent to Iona for a bishop to bring Christianity. The castle there remains associated with St. Oswald and a stone crucifix has been erected below its walls to commemorate the wooden cross the Oswald erected when Christianity first came to Northumbria. The church itself marks the spot where St. Aidan died and retains the timber which he leaned on as he took his last breaths. The timber remains suspended over the font. The church is rather large and has a reredos that incorporates many of Northumbria's saints into the witnesses of the Eucharistic sacrifice.
|St. Aidan and St. Oswald|
icon at Bamburgh.
|Altarpiece at Ripon with the Northumbrian Saints.|
The Church in Northern England maintains the holiness of her ancient saints to this day: they are examples to all Christians of how we can find a role in the Church to dedicate our own lives to Christ, for, as St. Julian of Norwich puts it, "all the help that we receive from the blessed saints, is by Christ's goodness."
The holiness of St. Cuthbert, the Northumbrian saints and all the saints is help to us to find Christ's love and likewise spread it to the rest of the world.