Monk and Bishop (d. 604)
+ 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.
For prayer and reflection
“Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.”—Psalm 96:2b-3
On this day we also remember Saint Julian the Veteran. A solider in the imperial army for 27 years, he had converted to Christianity at some point in his life, but because of his skills as a soldier, his faith was overlooked by those around him. During one of the systemic persecutions of Christians in the Roman Empire, he was denounced by another solider and sentenced to death. Saint Julian died in 302 in Dorostorum (modern-day Bulgaria).
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,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.