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And today we celebrate...

Monday, May 27
Saint Augustine of Canterbury

The first archbishop of Canterbury

AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY
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Monk and Bishop (d. 604)

His life

+ Italian by birth, Augustine was a monk of St. Andrew’s Abbey in Rome.

+ In 597, Augustine, along with 39 companions, was sent to England by Pope Saint Gregory the Great, who named Augustine archbishop of Canterbury.

+ With the assistance of King Ethelbert, whom Augustine had baptized, Augustine successfully established three dioceses and a monastery dedicated to Ss. Peter and Paul at Canterbury.

+ Augustine labored as missionary-bishop for ten years and is honored with laying the foundations of the Church in England.

+ Following his death in 604, Saint Augustine was buried in the monastery he founded at Canterbury, which later became known as St. Augustine’s Abbey.

+ Because he maintained regular contact with the Church of Rome, seeking advice and instruction, Augustine has come to be regarded as an important ecumenical patron of the dialogue between the Church of England and Rome.

Spiritual bonus

On this day, the Church also honors the memory of Saint Julian “the Veteran.” A soldier in Rome’s imperial army, he had taken part in seven military campaigns during his military career. Although he was a Christian, his faith was ignored by his superiors because he was considered a good soldier. However, during the persecution of the emperor Diocletian, he was denounced by a fellow soldier and beheaded near Dorostorum, Bulgaria, in 302.

For reflection

Announce his salvation day after day.

Tell his glory among the nations;

among the peoples, his wondrous deeds.—Psalm 96:2b-3

Prayer

O God, who by the preaching

of the Bishop Saint Augustine of Canterbury

led the English people to the Gospel,

grant, we pray, that the fruits of his labors

may remain ever abundant in your Church.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here
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