Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/181

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109
OF VENERABLE BEDE.

within himself,―“Though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will not fear evil, for Thou art with me.” When day dawned, he withdrew to a more retired place among the buildings of the city, where for six whole months he lived apart from men, relying on the protection of the Divine presence, according to the words of the Psalmist―“His countenance was hidden from the fear Miraculous food and water.of men;” and Providence fed him during this long space of time in a manner wonderful and unknown to men. For in a neighbouring house there lived a devout woman, whose services, though she was unconscious of the matter, the Lord, who is the fountain and origin of all knowledge, made use of to accomplish his designs. This woman used to bake bread and cook other provisions, in her own bakehouse, and carry the surplus to the place where Felix was concealed, where she laid them down in such a way that he took them, and she never knew that she had either come or gone away; and believing that the food which she had prepared was at home, she always forgot that she had put it there, but never forgot to bring it. Thus they say the holy father remained for the space of six months in this obscure and narrow residence, apart from the society of men, but not abandoned by Heaven; and thus also he was fed on humble fare, but ministered to him by the Almighty; whilst, moreover, he is said during this time to have enjoyed the privilege of intercourse with the Most High. There was also an old cistern in the same house, which supplied him with water; and though this was dried up by the heat of summer, yet water for his nourishment never failed the holy Felix. For the merciful Author of our salvation, who, when all around was dry, caused the fleece to drop with water, sent down from heaven, through the still and bright sky, a secret rain, to refresh his fainting servant. At the end of six months, he was admonished by Divine Providence to come forth from his retirement, as the fury of the persecution had now ceased. As soon as he appeared in