Saturday, October 16, 2021

Saint Augustine of Canterbury – Feast Day – May 27

Saint Augustine of Canterbury was also known as Apostle to the Anglo-Saxons, Apostle to the English, or Austin of Canterbury. He was a monk and also became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597 AD. He was born in the early 6th century, in Italy, and died on May 26 604 in Canterbury, Kent, England. His remains are buried in St Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury. His feast day is celebrated on May 27 (Catholic Ordinary Form calendar)

Saint Augustine of Canterbury Biography
Date of Birth Early 6th Century
Country of Birth Italy in Europe
Profession Monk and Archbishop of Canterbury
Place of Work Canterbury, England
Date of Death May 26 604
Place of Death Canterbury, Kent, England
Feast Day May 27
Canonization Pre-Congregation
Patron Saint of England

Saint Augustine of Canterbury Life History

In 595 AD, Pope Gregory the Great chose St Augustine to be the head of a mission to Britain to Christianize King Æthelberht and his Kingdom of Kent from Anglo-Saxon paganism. This mission is commonly known as the Gregorian mission. At this time St Augustine was the prior of the Abbey of St Andrew’s in Rome.

Before the delegation reached Britain, they halted because of the fear of the terrifying tales of the Celts. Augustine went back to Rome to request papal permission to return. Pope Gregory declined the request and sent St Augustine back with letters to encourage the missionaries who were left behind to persevere.

St Augustine and his delegation reached Kent in 597 AD and soon after their arrival, they achieved some initial success. King Æthelberht permitted them to settle and preach in Canterbury. They used St Martin’s Church for services.

St Augustine managed to convert and baptise King Æthelberht this led to more large scale conversions from the people. The conversion of the ruler at that time prompted his subjects to convert too.

It is not mentioned when St Augustine was consecrated as a bishop, but he was ordained as a bishop in Gaul (modern France) by the archbishop of Arlesit. It is later recorded that he established his episcopal see at Canterbury. He was the first Archbishop of Canterbury, England.

St Augustine founded the monastery of Saints Peter and Paul on land donated by the king. This monastry was later renamed St Augustine’s Abbey.

St Augustine founded two more bishoprics in Britain in 604 AD. Two men who had also been sent to Britain in 601 were Mellitus and Justus. They were consecrated and Mellitus became the Bishop of London and Justus became Bishop of Rochester.

With the help of the king, St Augustine, reconsecrated a church built by Roman Christians in Canterbury but had been used for pagan worship all along.

The King’s School, Canterbury claims that St Augustine is its founder, This would make it the oldest existing School in the world.

St Augustine consecrated Laurence of Canterbury as his successor to the archbishopric just before the time of his death on May 26 604. This was to ensure an orderly transition of office.

Augustine’s body was initially buried in the portico of St Augustine’s, Canterbury. It was exhumed later and interred in a tomb in the abbey church. This location has become a place of veneration and pilgrimage.

Saint Augustine of Canterbury Birth

He was born in the early 6th century, in Italy

Saint Augustine of Canterbury Death

He died on May 26 604 in Canterbury, Kent, England

Canonization

St Augustine of Canterbury was canonised Pre-congregation

Saint Augustine of Canterbury Feast Day

The feast day is celebrated on May 27 every year

Venerated in

St Augustine of Canterbury is venerated in these Churches

  • Anglicanism
  • Catholic Church
  • Eastern Orthodox Church

Attributes

St Augustine is representated as a bishop baptizing a king

Relics

St Augustine’s body was initially buried in the portico of St Augustine’s, Canterbury. It was exhumed later and interred in a tomb in the abbey church. This location has become a place of veneration and pilgrimage.

Patron Saint of

St Augustine of Canterbury is the patron saint of England

Today’s Catholic Quote:

Anglican Archbishops of Canterbury are still referred to as occupying the Chair of Augustine.

Saint Augustine of Canterbury

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