Boisil (DNB00)

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BOISIL, Saint (d. 664), superior of the monastery of Melrose, under the Abbot Eata, is stated by Forbes (Kalendar of Scottish Saints, p. 281) to have been trained by St. Cuthberht, but according to Bæda (Hist. Eccles. iv. 27) St. Cuthberht was trained by him at Melrose, receiving from him both the knowledge of the scriptures and an example of good works. Baeda, who received his information from Sigfrid, a monk of Jarrow, trained also by Boisil at Melrose, states that on seeing Cuthberht when he arrived, Boisil immediately exclaimed, ' Behold a servant of the Lord,' and obtained from Abbot Eata permission 'that he should receive the tonsure and be enrolled among the brethren' (Vita S. Cuth. c. vi.) He is said by Bæda to have twice appeared in dreams to a companion of the famous Ecgberht, who in consequence of the vision made a journey to Iona (Bæda, Hist. Eccles. v. 9). When Cuthberht was smitten in the great sickness of 664, Boisil assured him of his recovery. Shortly afterwards Boisil was himself mortally smitten, as he had foretold three years before to Abbot Eata, and during his sickness foretold to Cuthberht his future fortunes, and that he would be a bishop. St. Cuthberht succeeded him as superior of Melrose. Relics of him were preserved at Durham. He gives the name to St. Boswell's, Roxburghshire. He is commemorated on 9 Sept., although his name appears in the Scottish calendars on 23 Feb. Boisil is said to have written 'De Fide quæ per charitatem operatur;' 'In Evangelium Joannis;' 'Meditationes;' and 'De Trinitate excerpta ex D. Augustino et aliis.'

[Acta SS. Boll. March 20 and Jan. 23; Bædæ, Hist. Eccles. iv. 27, 28, v. 9; Vita S. Cuthberhti, c. 6 and 8; Pits, De Angliæ Scriptoribus, p. 113; Dempster's Hist. Eccles. Scot. Gent. (1627), p. 68; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. 110; Forbes's Kalendar of Scottish Saints, p. 281; Dict. Christ. Biog. i. 323.]