Apostle of England
Pope St. Gregory the Great sent St. Augustine, a monk of the Benedictine monastery of St. Andrew in Rome, with 39 of his brethren, to England. Upon landing in England, St. Augustine was greeted by King Ethelbert of Kent, a pagan, who had married a Christian, Bertha. Shortly thereafter, in 597, St. Augustine baptized King Ethelbert together with many of his subjects. After being consecrated Bishop in Gaul by the Archbishop of Arles, St. Augustine became the bishop of Canterbury.
By dint of hard and unremitting labor, this holy missionary in a few short years founded and directed the English hierarchy, thus sowing the seed that was to yield rich harvest of souls for Christ over the centuries. He died on May 27, 604 or 605.
PRAYER: God, through the preaching of St. Augustine, Your Bishop, You led the English people to the Gospel. Grant that the fruit of his labor may verdure in Your Church with perennial fruitfulness. Amen.