Tuesday, November 01, 2011

St. Cuthbert and the Otters

The Venerable Bede relates this wonderful story in his Life of St. Cuthbert:

Now one night, a brother of the monastery, seeing [Cuthbert] go out alone, followed him privately to see what he should do. When [Cuthbert] left the monastery, he went down to the sea, which flows beneath, and going into it, until the water reached his neck and arms, spent the night in praising God.

When the dawn of day approached, he came out of the water, and, falling on his knees, began to pray again. Whilst he was doing this, two quadrupeds, called otters, came up from the sea, and, lying down before him on the sand, breathed upon his feet, and wiped them with their hair after which, having received his blessing, they returned to their native element. Cuthbert himself returned home in time to join in the accustomed hymns with the other brethren.

The illustration is modern, but too perfect not to use.

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