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Blessed tree, upon whose branches spreading wide He the ransom of this ruined world hath weighed; And the spoils of hell forever borne away,
When the payment of His body hath been made,
Then all hail, thou altar! Hail, thou Sacrifice!
For the glory of the passion in Thee wrought: Where our Life hath been victorious over death, Aye, and back to us our life from death hath brought!
The Venerable Bede was born near Wearmouth, England, about the year 677. He lived the life of a student, and seems to have loved learning for its own sake. At seven years of age he came under the instruction of the Abbot Benedict, and from that time on he lived and studied at the monastery of what is now Durham Cathedral. His life was devoid of stirring incidents, his talents were various, his attainments of the highest order. He excelled in literature, history, philosophy and poetry. At nineteen years of age he was ordained a deacon, at thirty a priest, and died at fifty-nine. He was learned in Greek, and it is said that many in England spoke in that tongue through his encouragement. At Jarrow, near Wearmouth, he taught a school of six hundred monks, beside many strangers who came to him for instruction. His name presents, in the words of Green, the historian, "The quiet grandeur of a life consecrated to knowledge."
DE NATALI INNOCENTIUM
Hymnum canentes martyrum
Quos rex peremit impius,