Augustine of Canterbury

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Augustine was the prior or abbot of a monastery in Rome.


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In the Pope, St. Gregory the Great, chose him to lead a group of thirty monks on a missionary journey to England.


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There were some scattered Christian communities there, but the land as a whole was still predominantly Anglo-Saxon and pagan. Augustine hurried back to confer with the pope, but Gregory reassured him that his fears were groundless, and sent him back on his way. The missionaries arrived in England in King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, received them kindly, and their work flourished.

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On Pentecost Sunday the king was baptized, along with many of his subjects. Augustine journeyed briefly to France, where he was consecrated a bishop, and then returned to England, establishing his see, or diocese, in Canterbury. The see at Canterbury continued to prosper, and additional dioceses were later established at London and Rochester. By the time of St. Even saints can be reluctant to fulfill their mission; St.

Augustine of Canterbury

The Power of One Confession. Want to Pray More? There's a Devotion for Every Day of the Week. Ordinary Living in Ordinary Time. Peter and Paul, which would later become St Augustine's Abbey. Augustine continued to meet success in his efforts, and founded two other episcopal sees in England, at London and at Rochester.

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He was however unsuccessful in extending his authority to the Christians in Wales and Dumnonia. The Britons in those areas were suspicious of the newly arrived Augustine, and he seems to have been insufficiently conciliatory for them to agree to recognize him as the local archbishop. In , Augustine was formally given jurisdiction over Britain as its archbishop by Gregory. Augustine, working toward Christian unity, tried to reach an agreement with the Celtic bishops. These bishops were from an earlier attempt to establish Christianity in England who had been driven north and west by earlier invasions by Germans.

St. Augustine of Canterbury Facts

These bishops did not cooperate with Augustine, and refused to give up their existing traditions regarding baptism and the dating of Easter. Together, in Canterbury, they built a new church that dated from from Roman times —dedicating it to St. Martin of Tours possibly St. Martin was a major patronal saint for the Merovingian royal family.

At Christmas 10, of the king's subjects were baptized, in what is now referred to as the 'Miracle at Canterbury' or the 'Baptismal miracle at Canterbury'. Augustine sent a report of his success to Gregory with certain queries concerning his work. In Mellitus, Justus and others brought the pope's replies, with the pallium for Augustine and a present of sacred vessels, vestments, relics , books, and the like.

Augustine of Canterbury - OrthodoxWiki

Gregory directed the new archbishop to ordain as soon as possible twelve suffragan bishops and to send a bishop to York, who should also have twelve suffragans—a plan which was not carried out, nor was the primatial see established at London as Gregory intended. More practicable were the pope's mandates concerning heathen temples and usages: the former were to be consecrated to Christian service and the latter, so far as possible, to be transformed into dedication ceremonies or feasts of martyrs, since 'he who would climb to a lofty height must go up by steps, not leaps'.

Augustine reconsecrated and rebuilt the church at Canterbury as his cathedral and founded a monastery in connection with it. The chair of St.

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Augustine was established. He also restored a church and founded the monastery of St Peter and St Paul outside the walls.

He founded The King's School, Canterbury—the world's oldest school. At the time of Augustine's death, in the first decade of the seventh century, his mission barely extended beyond Kent. There were setbacks after Augustine's death, but ultimately England became Christian again, and although the credit for this must be shared between the Roman and Celtic churches, ultimately the Roman church proved the stronger influence on English Christian life.

Augustine's body was originally buried, but later exhumed and placed in a tomb within the Abbey Church where it became a place of pilgrimage and veneration.



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