Saint Aiden, Apostle of Northumbria, is one of the Patrons of Lindesfarne and of Northumbria. He was an Irish monk and missionary credited with converting the Anglo-Saxons of Northumbria to Christianity in the 7th Century A.D. He founded a monastic cathedral on the island of Lindisfarne, known as Lindisfarne Priory, served as its first bishop, and travelled ceaselessly throughout the countryside, spreading the gospel to both theAnglo-Saxon nobility and the socially disenfranchised (including children and slaves).
The Venerable Bede tells of how St. Aiden came to Northumbriaat the behest of the saintly King Oswald (August 5/18). In his years of evangelism, Aidan was responsible for the construction of churches, monasteries and schools throughout Northumbria. At the same time, he earned a tremendous reputation for his pious charity and dedication to the less fortunate—such as his tendency to provide room, board and education to orphans, and his use of contributions to pay for the freedom of slaves.
St. Aiden reposed on August 31, 651. He had become ill while on one of his incessant missionary tours, and died leaning against the wall of the local church (now St Aidan's Church in Bamburgh).The flag of St. Aiden is one of the historic standards of the Kingdom of Northumbria, where he spent his life evangelizing and baptizing its people to Christ. Saint Aiden is commemorated on August 31/September 13.