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March 20th Herebert (?-687)

Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (see March 20th) and Herebert (or Herbert) of Derwentwater were friends. Herebert lived on an island in the lake, now known as St. Herbert’s Island, and there are remains of a circular stone builing there which may have been his cell. Once a year he journeyed  to meet Cuthbert on Lindisfarne or Inner Farne for spiritual support and conversation. Late in 686, Herebert heard that Cuthbert was visiting Carlisle for an ordination of deacons, and Herebert arranged to meet him there. Then Cuthbert confided that they should not use their time together unwisely since before many months passed he would depart this life. Herebert begged Cuthbert to pray that ‘they might journey together and see God’s glory in heaven,’ for he dreaded the thought of being left without his friend. Then he suggested that they leave together, and so they agreed to this. The prayer was answered, as Cuthbert was assured it would be. A few months later Herebert became ill and the two friends died on their separate islands on the same day, two companions passing into glory.

Teach us, Friend of all, the meaning of true friendship, however frequently or infrequently we may meet those we count as our friends. Show us, by Your own example how to befriend in Your name even those we find it difficult to get on with. Help us to be hospitable to everyone, knowing that in serving them we may be serving You unawares. Fill our hearts, also, with the glory of our heavenly home, so that we may be prepared to journey there, whenever You call us. Amen.