Aidan of Lindisfarne

Aidan of Lindisfarne, the Apostle of Northumbria (* probably in Connacht, Ireland, † August 31 651 in Bamborough ), was the founder and first bishop of the monastery on the island of Lindisfarne in Northumbria. He was a Christian missionary and saint, Northumbria, which had fallen back into paganism, re- Christianized.

Aidan is the anglicised form of the name of the old Irish Adohan ( The small fire)


Aidan was probably born in Connacht (Ireland). He first studied as a monk at St. Senan on Iniscathay ( Scattery Iceland ) before he became Bishop of Clogher.

In the year 630 he resigned his episcopal office and went in the course of missionary work in Scotland, first playing a Monk to Iona.

When Oswald of Northumbria after a long exile among the Christian Picts and Irish 634 returned home and to the rule seized on the northern fishing, he decided to introduce Christianity disclosed to him in his country, and turned about to the Abbot Segene / Segenius. First Corman was sent as a missionary, but soon gave up his missionary work fruitless and returned to Iona. Aidan rebuked its methods and was named on 635 even a bishop. He sat down on the lying in Oswald's home country Bernicia small island of Lindisfarne near the royal castle Bamburgh. On the island of Aidan founded with 12 Scottish monks in the same year a monastery as a bishop's seat and began the Christianization of Northumbria. Aidan preached first in Scottish Gaelic and Anglian king Oswald translated for his yard.

When King Oswald died in 642, led his followers Oswine continued the Christianization. Between the two men developed a deep friendship developed. Through careful discussions and with great empathy brought Aidan and his monks Christianity in the communes Northumbria. According to legend, the king gave Aidan a horse so that he no longer had to go on foot. Aidan but gave the horse to a beggar. The theologian the Venerable Bede praised Aidan's humility, faith, temperance, and his zeal for the proclamation of the faith. Bede had to suspend Aidan only that he had held at the Celtic Easter celebration in contrast to the Roman custom.

The Lindisfarne monastery flourished and became a center of Christian art and culture. Famous was his writing school in the gifted boys were educated as eg Eata of Hexham, so that the Christian elite of the country would henceforth formed from locals. All Northumbrian churches and monasteries took their origin here.

According to legend, King Penda of Mercia reached at 651 Bamburgh and attempted to burn down the fortifications. Aidan prayed for the city, and then the wind shifted and blew smoke through the enemy and fire. Penda took then.

Aidan died on 31 August 651 in Bamborough, 12 days after the murder of his friend Oswine, in the 17th year of his tenure as bishop. He was buried in Lindisfarne.


Some of his bones were transferred to 664 Coloman ( abbot of Lindisfarne 661-664 ) to Scotland. The remaining bones were brought in Lindisfarne by Bishop of Lindisfarne Eardulf 875 after a long odyssey from the Danes in the coffin of St. Cuthbert by Newfield ( Chester -le- Street) to safety.

  • Catholic Memorial Day: August 31 (ng Memorial Day in the UK and Ireland)
  • Commemoration day orthodox: 31 August ( transfer of the remains: October 8th )
  • Memorial Evangelical: June 9 ( Evangelical Lutheran Church in America )
  • Memorial Anglican: 31 August
  • Patron of firefighters
  • Apostle of Northumbria

See also

  • Sacred Calendar
  • Book of Lindisfarne