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Saint Cuthbert the Wonderworker, Bishop of Lindisfarne

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March 20

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Saint Cuthbert was born in Britain about the year 635, and became a monk in his youth at the monastery of Melrose by the River Tweed. After many years of struggle as a true priest of Christ, in the service both of his own brethren and of the neglected Christians of isolated country villages, he became a solitary on Farne Island in 676. After eight years as a hermit, he was constrained to leave his quiet to become Bishop of Lindisfarne, in which office he served for almost two years. He returned to his hermitage two months before he reposed in peace in 687. Because of the miracles he wrought both during his life and at his tomb after his death, he is called the "Wonderworker of Britain." The whole English people honoured him, and kings were both benefactors to his shrine and suppliants of his prayers. Eleven years after his death, his holy relics were revealed to be incorrupt; when his body was translated from Lindisfarne to Durham Cathedral in August of 1104, his body was still found to be untouched by decay, giving off "an odour of sweetest fragrancy," and "from the flexibility of its joints representing a person asleep rather than dead." Finally, when the most impious Henry VIII desecrated his shrine, opening it to despoil it of its valuables, his body was again found incorrupt, and was buried in 1542. It is believed that after this the holy relics of Saint Cuthbert were hidden to preserve them from further desecration.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone

While still in thy youth thou didst lay aside all worldly care and didst take up the sweet yoke of Christ, O godly-minded Cuthbert, and thou wast shown forth in truth to be nobly radiant in the grace of the Holy Spirit. Wherefore, God established thee as a rule of faith and shepherd of His rational flock, O converser with Angels and intercessor for men.

Kontakion in the First Tone

Having surpassed thy brethren in prayers, fasting, and vigils, thou wast found worthy to entertain a pilgrim-angel; and having shone forth with humility as a bright lamp set on high, thou didst receive the gift of wonderworking. And now as thou dwellest in the heavenly Kingdom, O our righteous Father Cuthbert, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.