John of Beverley

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Our father among the saints John of Beverley was the Bishop of Hexham and then Bishop of York in the kingdom of Northumbria in the British Isles during the late seventh and early eighth centuries. He was a monastic mentor of the Venerable Bede. His feast day is May 7.


The date of John's birth and early life is largely unknown. He is believed to have been born of noble parents at the village of Harpham in East Riding, Yorkshire. He was educated at St. Augustine's monastery at Canterbury under the supervision Archbishop Theodore. Abp. Theodore is reputed to have given him the name John when he became a monk.

After completing his studies at Canterbury, John joined the monastic community of Whitby led by Abbess Hilda. John established for himself a reputation as a preacher as he expounded the Scripture. On August 25, 687, John was consecrated Bishop of Hexham, succeeding St. Eata.

In 705, Bp. John was transferred to the see of York after the repose of Bp. Bosa. During his episcopate at York, John was attentive to the training of a number of students who were under his charge, including Bede, Berethume later the abbot of Beverley, and Wilfrid the Younger who succeeded John as Bishop of York. He ordained Bede both as deacon and then priest.

During these years, John acquired a place at Inderawood where he established a forest monastery. Later, it would carry the name Beverley. About the year 717, Bp. John chose to retire and resigned as bishop of York. He was succeeded by his student Wilfrid the Younger. John retired to his monastery at Beverley where spent the rest of his life with Abbot Berethume.

Bp. John reposed on May 7, 721 at Beverley in Yorkshire. Initially, buried at Beverley, John's relics were translated to York in 1037, the same year in which he was glorified. Many miracles of healing have been ascribed to John, whose disciples were numerous and devoted to him. As well as being celebrated for his virtues, John was also known for his scholarship.

Succession box:
John of Beverley
Preceded by:
Bishop of Hexham
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Bishop of York
Succeeded by:
Wilfrid the Younger
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