Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Augustine, or Austin, St., the first Archbishop of Canterbury, was a Benedictine monk of the Convent of St. Andrew at Rome, when Pope Gregory I. in 596 A.D. sent him to convert Britain to Christianity. The gloomy accounts that he received of the island deterred him for a time from undertaking the mission. However, in 597 he landed in Thanet and was well received by Ethelbert, King of Kent, whose wife Bertha, a Frankish princess, was already a Christian. The missioners were allowed to settle in Canterbury, and soon afterwards the king himself was baptised. The new faith now spread rapidly as far as the Humber and the Welsh marches. Augustine is said to have baptised with his own hands 10,000 persons in a day. He was presently consecrated bishop of the English, and in 604 appointed bishops of London and Rochester, Ethelbert founding cathedrals in those two cities as well as in Canterbury. He was unsuccessful in effecting a union between the English and Welsh Churches. His death occurred probably in 607 on May 26, the day dedicated to his memory. He was buried at Canterbury in the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, afterwards called St. Augustine's Abbey, now the site of the Missionary College, but his remains were translated to the Cathedral in 1091.