Menu Up level

Pope Bede

"Then hope shall be my salvation."

"Anyone can hope", they said. "Even a heathen can hope, for a good life here on earth."

The pope replied, "A man or a woman can hope for anything - for the fields of their father or the vineyards of their mother. Anything for which we ask we may inherit. But tell me, who of you is satisfied with the earth that it should be your inheritance?"

At this they fell silent. Then the pope asked them, "What if it is you who are wrong, about everything?"

Some cried out. "You have been blessed with wisdom. How are we to live?"

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart; love your neighbour as yourself. Now you are as wise as me, because there is no greater wisdom than this."

"Are you an angel?", they said.

"No", replied Pope Bede, "I am a woman."

"Bless us! Bless us!", they cried.

So Pope Bede blessed them, and they wept, and as a tide of people closed behind her, washing forever her footprints from the sand, I lost sight of her, and soon after her voice diminished too as she moved on through the crowd.

© Copyright 2017

Cover art courtesy of Chandi Abay: