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St. Augustine of Canterbury

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Saint Augustine of Canterbury

Bishop & Confessor

Augustine was born in the early sixth century, most likely in Italy. He was the prior of a Benedictine monastery in Rome when Pope St. Gregory the Great, who had once desired to evangelize Britain himself, commissioned Augustine to lead forty other monks in a mission to England. Though Christianity had survived in parts of Britain since the Roman withdrawal, it was mostly isolated from Rome, and the Anglo-Saxons of the southeastern kingdoms were almost entirely pagan. Despite initial fears and hesitation, Augustine and his monks landed in Kent in the year of Our Lord 597. The future saint King Æthelbert of Kent had recently married a Christian Frankish princess, St. Bertha, and permitted her and her chaplain to practice their faith. He was thus welcoming to the missionaries, and the combined influence of Bertha and Augustine eventually converted Æthelbert. Mass baptisms of his people followed, beginning the conversion of England into Our Lady’s Dowry. Augustine was later consecrated bishop and established his diocese at Canterbury. The Apostle to the English, as he is known, died around the year of Our Lord 604, and is greatly venerated in his adopted land, which celebrates his feast on May 26th. He is also celebrated on May 27th in the modern calendar.

 

Traditional Roman Martyrology for May 28th

AT Canterbury, in England, St. Augustine, bishop, mentioned on the 26th of this month.

In Sardinia, the holy martyrs AEmilius, Felix, Priam, and Lucian, who were crowned after having combated for Christ.

At Chartres, in France, under the emperor Domitian, St. Caraunus, martyr, who was beheaded, and thus acquired the glory of martyrdom.

At Corinth, St. Helconides, martyr, who was first subjected to torments in the reign of the emperor Gordian, under the governor Perennius, and then again tortured under his successor Justin. But being liberated by an angel, she had her breasts cut off, was exposed to wild beasts and to fire, and at length terminated her martyrdom by decapitation.

Also, the martyrdom of the Saints Crescens, Dioscorides, Paul, and Helladius.

At Thecua, in Palestine, the saintly monks who became martyrs by being killed by the Saracens, in the time of Theodosius the Younger. Their sacred remains were gathered by the inhabitants of the place and preserved with the greatest veneration.

At Paris, St. Germanus, bishop and confessor, whose celebrity for holiness, merit, and miracles, has been transmitted to us by the writings of bishop Fortunatus.

At Milan, St. Senator, bishop, very renowned for virtues and learning.

At Urgel, in Spain, St. Justus, bishop.

At Florence, St. Podius, bishop and confessor.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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