St. Augustine of Canterbury with the English King

St. Augustine of Canterbury – Bishop, Confessor

St. Augustine was a Roman monk, and was sent by Pope Gregory the Great with forty companions to England in order to convert that land to the Faith. The result far surpassed the expectations of the Pope, for God set his seal on the preaching of St. Augustine by so great a number of miracles that the age of the apostles seemed to have come again. Ethelbert, the King of Kent, together with the chief persons of his court, was the first to receive Baptism from the hands of the saint, who gave bodily health to the sick as well as salvation to their souls.

By command of St. Gregory, Augustine was consecrated the first Bishop of the English by Virgilius of Arles. Returning to England, he consecrated bishops for other Sees and established his own See, as Primate, at Canterbury, where he also built a monastery. He died on May 26, 609, and was at once venerated as a saint. This feast was placed on the Calendar by Leo XIII.

St. Augustine of Canterbury, pray for us!

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