ST AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: MAY 28
In 597, Pope Gregory the Great sent to England the monk Augustine and a group of forty fellow monks of the Lateran monastery in Rome. King Ethelbert invited them all to Canterbury, the chief city of his kingdom, and Augustine built an oratory nearby. Through his preaching he converted to Christianity many of the islanders and even the king, to the great joy of the king’s Christian wife, Bertha.
THE SEE OF CANTERBURY
Gregory ordered Augustine consecrated a bishop, founded the See of Canterbury, gave him the use of the pallium and the power to establish a hierarchy in England. Augustine underwent many exhausting labours for Christ.
MANY EXHAUSTING LABOURS FOR CHRIST
He placed Mellitus in charge of the church in London, Justus in charge of the church of Rochester, and Lawrence in charge of his own church. He at last died on the seventh of the Calends of June, and was buried in the monastery of St Peter. After this, the monastery became the burial place of the bishops of Canterbury and a number of kings.
O God, who graciously enlightened the English peoples with the light of the true faith by the preaching and miracles of blessed Augustine, your Confessor and Bishop, grant, through his intercession, that the hearts of those who have strayed may return to the unity of the true faith and that we may be in harmony with your will. Through our Lord…
– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964