Tuesday, May 27, 2014

St. Augustine of Canterbury




The saint of the day for May 27th is St. Augustine of Canterbury, an Italian Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 598. He is not be confused with the earlier St. Augustine of Hippo, the famous author of the “Confessions” and “City of God.”

Augustine was the prior of a monastery in Rome when Pope Gregory the Great chose him to lead a party of forty monks to travel to south-eastern England to spread the Gospel there. They landed in 597, and were welcomed by the king of Kent, Ethelbert, who became a Christian along with many of his subjects.

Augustine went to Arles, in France, where he was consecrated archbishop of the English, and then returned to Canterbury to set up his see. The mission prospered, and he founded two more sees, at London and at Rochester in Kent.

Augustine died at Canterbury on May 26, 604.

St. Augustine has been called "Apostle of England" because of his missionary efforts. He is the patron of England.

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