Friday, September 4, 2009

St. Cuthbert

St. Cuthbert was a shepherd boy, early in life, and rose to become Bishop of Lindisfarne, a Northumbrian island. His fame increased in death, due to his body being moved several times, and appearing to be uncorrupted, though many years had passed. He died in 688, and required his order of monks to remove from Lindisfarne, with his remains, in the event of invasion by the Danes. It was 11 years later that Cuthbert's remains were exhumed, in this instance to provide him with a more honorable resting place. It was at this exhumation that stories of Cuthbert's incorruptible body started; miracles soon followed.

Nearly 200 years later, in 875, the Lindisfarne monks did indeed have to flee, due to a Danish threat. They took Cuthbert with them. It took until 882 for Cuthberts remains to find a temporary resting place; in Chester-le-Street; county Durham, England. In 995, Cuthbert was on the move once more. Danes again. This wandering ended in Duirholm (deer's meadow), where Cuthbert's wanderings stopped. The Cathedral of Durham was built on the spot where Cuthbert was lain.

Cuthbert is covered in Scott's Marmion:

St. Cuthbert's Beads

On a rock by Lindisfarne,
Saint Cuthbert sits, and toils to frame
The sea-borne beads that bear his name:
Such tales had Whitby's fishers told,
And said they might his shape behold,
And hear his anvil sound;
A deadened clang - a huge dim form,
Seen but, and heard, when gathering storm,
And night were closing round...

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