Saint Æthelwold, Hermit of Inner Farne Island

March 23 is the Feast of Saint Æthelwold, a Monk at Ripon in England, who lived as a Hermit on Inner Farne Island for twelve years.

“Saint Æthelwold of Farne (also spelled Aethelwald, Ethilwold, etc.) was a late 7th century hermit who lived on Inner Farne, off the coast of the English county of Northumberland. Little is known about this man, apart from what is recorded in the writings of the Venerable Bede. Æthelwold was both a priest and a monk from Ripon Abbey. Being desirous of some solitude, he succeeded to the tiny hermitage of Saint Cuthbert on Farne, after the latter’s death in 687.
Cuthbert
He, however, found it so drafty that he was obliged to make much needed repairs using a calfskin. The most well-known story about Æthelwold, relates how the future Abbot Guthrid visited him on his island with two Lindisfarne monks and, on his journey home, was saved from shipwreck by the saint’s prayers. Æthelwold died on 23 March 699 (not 720 as is sometimes stated). He was buried with Cuthbert and, like him, was eventually enshrined in Durham Cathedral. He should not be confused with his near contemporary, Saint Æthelwold of Lindisfarne.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86thelwold_%28hermit%29
cuthbert farne
“St Æthelwold of Farne (d. 699)
THE venerable Ethewald succeeded the man of God, Cuthbert, in the exercise of a solitary life, which he spent in the isle of Farne before he became a bishop. After he had received the priesthood, he consecrated his office by deeds worthy of that degree for many years in the monastery which is called Inhrypum. To the end that his merit and manner of life may be the more certainly made known, I will relate one miracle of his, which was told me by one of the brothers for and on whom the same was wrought; to wit, Guthfrid, the venerable servant and priest of Christ, who also, afterwards, as abbot, presided over the brethren of the same church of Lindisfarne, in which he was educated.

“I came,” says he, “to the island of Farne, with two others of the brethren, desiring to speak with the most reverend father, Ethelwald. Having been refreshed with his discourse, and asked for his blessing, as we were returning home, behold on a sudden, when we were in the midst of the sea, the fair weather in which we were sailing, was broken, and there arose so great and terrible a tempest, that neither sails nor oars were of any use to us, nor had we anything to expect but death. After long struggling with the wind and waves to no effect, at last we looked back to see whether it was possible by any means at least to return to the island whence we came, but we found that we were on all sides alike cut off by the storm, and that there was no hope of escape by our own efforts. But looking further, we perceived, on the island of Farne, our father Ethelwald, beloved of God, come out of his retreat to watch our course; for, hearing the noise of the tempest and raging sea, he had come forth to see what would become of us. When he beheld us in distress and despair, he bowed his knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in prayer for our life and safety; and as he finished his prayer, he calmed the swelling water, in such sort that the fierceness of the storm ceased on all sides, and fair winds attended us over a smooth sea to the very shore. When we had landed, and had pulled up our small vessel from the waves, the storm, which had ceased a short time for our sake, presently returned, and raged furiously during the whole day; so that it plainly appeared that the brief interval of calm had been granted by Heaven in answer to the prayers of the man of God, to the end that we might escape.”

The man of God remained in the isle of Farne twelve years, and died there; but was buried in the church of the blessed Apostle Peter, in the isle of Lindisfarne, beside the bodies of the aforesaid bishops.’ These things happened in the days of King Aldfrid, who, after his brother Egfrid, ruled the nation of the Northumbrians for nineteen years.”
bede
Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Book V, Ch.1
http://enxc.blogspot.com.au/2009/05/st-thelwold-of-farne-d-699.html
cuthberts chapel 2
“Edelwald lived twelve years in his (to human eyes) dreary and forlorn abode; dreary and forlorn, most assuredly, if he had no companions, no converse, no subjects of thought, besides those which the external world supplied to him. On his death, A.D. 699 or 700, his remains were taken to Lindisfarne, and buried by the side of his master, St. Cuthbert.”
http://www.newmanreader.org/works/saints/edelwald.html
farne islands
“The earliest recorded inhabitants of the Farne Islands were various Culdees, some connected with Lindisfarne. This followed the old Celtic tradition of island hermitages, found in England, Ireland, and Scotland. The first visitor recorded by name was Saint Aidan followed by Saint Cuthbert. The latter was called to the bishopric of Lindisfarne but after two years he returned to the solitude of the Inner Farne and died there in 687, when Saint Aethelwold took up residence instead. Among other acts, Saint Cuthbert introduced special laws in 676 protecting the Eider ducks, and other seabirds nesting on the islands; these are thought to be the earliest bird protection laws anywhere in the world.”
http://www.visitmyharbour.com/harbours/north-east-england/farne-islands-lindisfarne/expanded.asp

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