Saint Cedd “visits” the sick….

The Hermitage contains relics of Saint Cedd of Lastingham (c. 620 – 26 October 664), an Anglo-Saxon Monk, Abbot and Bishop from Northumbria. He was an evangelist of the Middle Angles and East Saxons in England, and was the Abbot of Lastingham to the end of his life. He is venerated by Anglican, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians.
The wife of an Orthodox friend of mine is seriously ill, and so I carried the relics of Saint Cedd from The Hermitage to their apartment to remain there so that she may be comforted by their presence. There is an ancient tradition of relics being taken to the sick. Relics are not magical charms or talismans. They are reminders of the continual presence and the prayers of the Saints of God. But they are, in Orthodox Tradition, more than that. For, as St. John of Damascus (“John Damascene”)(ca. A.D. 676 – 754/87) wrote in his “Exposition of the Orthodox Faith”:
“These [the bodies of the Saints] are made treasuries and pure habitations of God: For I will dwell in them, said God, and walk in them, and I will be their God. The divine Scripture likewise saith that the souls of the just are in God’s hand and death cannot lay hold of them. For death is rather the sleep of the saints than their death. For they travailed in this life and shall to the end, and Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. What then, is more precious than to be in the hand of God? For God is Life and Light, and those who are in God’s hand are in life and light.
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Further, that God dwelt even in their bodies in spiritual wise, the Apostle tells us, saying, Know ye not that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you?, and The Lord is that Spirit, and If any one destroy the temple of God, him will God destroy. Surely, then, we must ascribe honour to the living temples of God, the living tabernacles of God. These while they lived stood with confidence before God.

The Master Christ made the remains of the saints to be fountains of salvation to us, pouring forth manifold blessings and abounding in oil of sweet fragrance: and let no one disbelieve this. For if water burst in the desert from the steep and solid rock at God’s will and from the jaw-bone of an ass to quench Samson’s thirst, is it incredible that fragrant oil should burst forth from the martyrs’ remains? By no means, at least to those who know the power of God and the honour which He accords His saints.”

Saint Cedd of Lastingham, pray for your sister in her illness, that she may know the infinite love and mercy of God!


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