Thursday, May 26, 2016

For All the Saints: Augustine of Canterbury

Another saint associated with England is honored on both Western and Eastern church calendars. Augustine of Canterbury (died May 26, 604) was prior of a Rome mastery when the pope, Gregory the Great, selected him to go to the Kingdom of Kent to try to convert King Æthelberht. Although the lands were dominated by Anglo-Saxon paganism, Æthelberht was already married to a Christian. Landing at Kent in 597, Augustine went to Canterbury and was able to effect the king's conversation. This opened the way for more missionaries to go to England. Augustine established the episcopal see of Canterbury and became the first archbishop there. Much of what we know about his life comes from the writings of Bede, who was honored yesterday.

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