A young monk named Aidan responded, “Perhaps you were too harsh with them, and they might have responded better to a gentler approach.” At this, Aidan found himself appointed to
lead a second expedition to Northumbria. He centered his work, not at York, but in imitation of his home monastery, on Lindisfarne, an island off the northeast coast of England, now often called Holy Isle (55:41 N 1:48 W).
With his fellow monks and the English youths whom he trained, Aidan restored Christianity in Northumbria, King Oswald often serving as his interpreter, and extended the mission through the midlands as far south as London.
Aidan died at the royal town of Bamborough ( Bamburgh) , 31 August, 651. The historian Bede said of him: “He neither sought nor loved anything of this world, but delighted in distributing immediately to the poor whatever was given him
by kings or rich men of the world. He traversed both town and
country on foot, never on horseback, unless compelled by some urgent necessity. Wherever on his way he saw any, either rich or poor, he invited them, if pagans, to embrace the mystery of the faith; or if they were believers, he sought to strengthen them in their faith and stir them up by words and actions
to alms and good works.”
Sounds like he convinced people by example rather than by sword – a big deal in those times.