St. Bede the Venerable, often called the Venerable Bede, was an English writer and monk who was born in A.D. 672 or 673 and died in A.D. 735. A skilled linguist and translator, he helped spread Christianity by translating many Latin and Greek theological works for his contemporaries. He was also a gifted author, theologian, poet, scientist and historian in his own right. His masterwork, “The Ecclesiastical History of the English People,” is considered by most scholars to be the first true work of English history.

Pope Leo XIII canonized St. Bede in 1899 and named him a Doctor of the Church in recognition of his contributions to Catholic scholarship. St. Bede is the patron saint of scholars and is commonly depicted as an old man in a monk’s robe with a book and pen. His symbols include a pitcher of water and the light of heaven, a scroll, a pen and ink horn and a volume of history.