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 Sts. 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.
On this day, the Church also remembers four other priests from England who were martyred in Durham on May 27, 1590: Blesseds Edmund Duke, John Hogg, Richard Hill, and Richard Holiday. These four martyrs were beatified with other martyrs of England, Scotland, and Wales in 1987.
Announce his salvation day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among the peoples, his wondrous deeds.—Psalm 96:2b-3
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.