Memorial : 6 May
Memorial : 6 May
Died May 6, 698. When Saint Cuthbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, died in 687, he was succeeded by Saint Edbert. The venerable Bede wrote that Edbert was a man noted for his knowledge of the Scriptures and for his obedience to God's commandments,and especially for his generosity. Bede tells us that Saint Edbert every year "obeyed the law of the Old Testament by giving one tenth of all his cattle, his crops, his fruit, and his clothing to the poor."
Eleven years after Cuthbert's death, his coffin was opened and the body was found to be incorrupt, the joints still pliable and the clothing fresh and bright. Edbert kissed the clothing that had covered the saint's body, then ordered that new garments be put on the saint and a new coffin made. The coffin, he said, must be given a place of honor. And he instructed his monks to leave a space under it for his own grave, which he filled within a very short time.
Edbert imitated his predecessor in other acts of godliness, spending 40 days in solitary meditation twice annually (Lent and before Christmas) on a small island, and building fine churches for the worship of God. He installed a leaden roof on the wooden church built by Saint Finan and dedicated to Saint Peter on Lindisfarne. Edbert lies, like Cuthbert, in Durham Cathedral, for the bodies of both saints were carried there in 875 after many years of being moved around to escape the marauders from Scandinavia (Benedictines, Bentley, Farmer, Husenbeth).
You succeeded St Cuthbert as bishop of Lindisfarne and discovered his incorrupt relics; and you were a devout and generous hierarch, sharing everything with the Lord’s poor. And you were born into heaven in eternal peace: Holy St Eadbert, pray to Christ to have mercy on us!