St. Augustine of Kent,
First Archbishop of Canterbury
and Apostle to the English
The first archbishop of Canterbury, St. Augustine
was born in Rome and served as proir of St. Andrew's
monastery on the Caelin Hill before Pope St.
him to reintroduce Christianity into England. Augustine spent
time at Lérins on his journey and was consecrated bishop at Arles
before his departure for England. He arrived at Thanet in 597,
and his mission had the support of Æthelbert of Kent, whose
wife Bertha was a Christian. At Canterbury, Augustine founded
Christ Church and the monastery of Sts. Peter and Paul (now St. Austin),
and he made Canterbury the center of the English church. He
converted many Anglo-Saxons and baptized &Aelig;thelbert in 601,
the year that Canterbury and York became metropolitan sees.
Augustine maintained a detailed correspondence with Gregory
and made two unsuccessful attempts to reconcile Roman and
Celtic observances. His last act before his death in 604/605
was the establishment of the sees of Rochester and London.
The VI Century Gospel of St. Augustine is preserved at Corpus
Christi College, Cambridge.
Karen Rae Keck
St. Virgil of Arles;
Return to St Pachomius Library.