Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/276

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A.D. 999.
Durham Cathedral
in the third year after its foundations were laid, and Cathedral, transferred thither the body of St. Cuthbert, with all due honours, to a place which he had prepared for it. Thus the saint's body, and the episcopal see, which was first founded by King Oswald and Bishop Aidan in the island of Lindisfarne, have remained in that place even to the present time; and from the year in which Aidan ascended the episcopal chair in the island of Lindisfarne, to the year in which Aldun ascended the same in Durham, is computed to be three hundred and sixty-one years, and three hundred and nine from the death of St. Cuthbert.

§ 22. On the death of Aldun, the church was almost three years without a ruler ; after which Edmund, a man famous for religion and activity, was elected; A.D.1042.the priest at the altar, and the deacon who was attending on him, having said that they heard a voice which seemed to come from the holy father's tomb beneath the altar, and ordered that he should be made bishop. During his episcopacy there flourished In the church of Durham a priest, named Elfred, son of Weston, a man of great piety, and good works, who also was familiar with the holy Cuthbert. He had showed himself entirely devoted to the saint, was a man of much sobriety, a frequent giver of alms, constant in prayer, an enemy to the wanton and licentious, respected by the good and by all who feared God, and one of the most zealous supporters of the church. He had in his possession a hair of St. Cuthbert, which he used to show those who visited him, and in consequence to increase the admiration of those who already admired him for his sanctity. For he would fill a censer with burning coals, and place the hair upon the top, but it would never be consumed, for it became white, and shone like gold in the fire, and after staying there a long time, when taken off it returned gradually to its former appearance. Not only many of his disciples affirmed that they saw this miracle, but also a