Lindisfarne, Durham, York, Hexham and Whitby were all important centres of cultural and social influence. The monasteries and communities of these 7th and 8th century saints were to be swept away by the Vikings savage attacks from 793 onwards. But the colourful lives of Saints Aidan, Colman, Chad, Wilfrid, Oswald, Hilda, Cuthbert and others, and the remarkable events surrounding them, were fortunately recorded by Bede and other annalists of the period. The account of their involvement in the power shifts between the Northumbrian royal houses, the struggles of the great ecclesiastical debate around the Synod of Whitby in 664, as well as the wealth of stories of visions, miracles and marvels which filled their lives -- these have all come down in the ancient texts. This selection draws on Bede's 'Ecclesiastical History' and other early sources to provide insight into the inspirational power of these saintly lives in their own day and for times to come.
Author: Iain MacDonald