|St. Augustine of Canterbury|
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 26-May-604 AD
Location of death: Canterbury, Kent, England
Cause of death: unspecified
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Executive summary: First Archbishop of Canterbury
St. Augustine, first archbishop of Canterbury, occupied a position of authority in the monastery of St. Andrew at Rome, when Pope Gregory I summoned him to lead a mission to England in AD 596. The apprehensions of Augustine's followers caused him to return to Rome, but the pope furnished him with letters of commendation and encouraged him to proceed. He landed in Thanet in AD 597, and was favorably received by Aethelberht, king of Kent, who granted a dwelling place for the monks in Canterbury, and allowed them liberty to preach. Augustine first made use of the ancient church of St. Martin at Canterbury, which before his arrival had been the oratory of the Queen Berhta and her confessor Liudhard. Aethelberht upon his conversion employed all his influence in support of the mission. In 601 Augustine received the pallium from Gregory and was given authority over the Celtic churches in Britain, as well as all future bishops consecrated in English territory, including York. Authority over the see of York was not, however, to descend to Augustine's successors. In 603 he consecrated Christ Church, Canterbury, and built the monastery SS. Peter and Paul, afterwards known as St. Augustine's. At the conference of Augustine's Oak he endeavored in vain to bring over the Celtic church to the observance of the Roman Easter. He afterwards consecrated Mellitus and Justus the sees of London and Rochester respectively.
Archbishop of Canterbury 597-604 AD
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