Saint Aidan was a 7th century Irish missionary to Northumbria in northern England. Centuries after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, its impacts were beginning to fade, and paganism was making a comeback in the British isles. With the support of King St. Oswald, Aidan worked tirelessly, traveling from village to village, returning the English people to Christianity. He desired to raise up future clergy and missionaries from among the native English population, preferring not to impose upon the people foreign missionaries from Rome.
After serving as bishop of Lindisfarne for 17 years, Saint Aidan fell ill and died on August 31, 651. His monastery continued his missionary work for generations after his repose, restoring Christianity among the English people. His feast is celebrated on August 31.