This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

February 11 -- Feast of St. Caedmon

I can picture the Caedmon Record label, though I am not sure what I owned that had been recorded by them. It was originally a spoken word label -- literary stuff read by BBC actors and the writers themselves. I had a couple of Lord of the Rings albums; they might have been Caedmon. At some point, I listened to TS Eliot read "The Hollow Men;" that was definitely Caedmon.

The label was named for St. Caedmon, an illiterate cowherd who heard... Herd of cows? I don't care what the cows heard. Haha. No, he didn't hear lame jokes from "Veterinary Hospital" on The Muppet Show. Watch the clip here.

He walked out from a feast at the monastery one night because the brothers were singing and he was uncomfortable. Then he heard a voice commanding him to sing.

His reply was a little less than poetic: ''I do not know how to sing and for that reason I went out from this feast and went hither, because I did not know how to sing at all.''

The voice commanded him to sing about Creation, and lo! he was imbued with the Spirit to Sing. From that point on, he was inspired to songs of praise for God.

He told the monastic brothers whose animals he tended about the vision and they agreed to read him verses of the Bible. He composed his hymns based on those verses and dictated them to the brothers.

He was the first known poet of vernacular English. If you want to know more about the record label named for him,

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