St. Paulinus was born in Rome about 554 and became a monk. In 601, he was one of the second group of monks sent to England by Pope Gregory the great and worked in the Kentish Kingdom until 625. At that time, King Edwin of Northumbria, who was a pagan, requested permission to marry Ethelburga, the Christian sister of King Edbald of Kent. Edwin indicated that he was willing to give Ethelburga complete freedom of conscience and might even become a convert himself.
Therefore, Paulinus was consecrated Bishop of York and accompanied Ethelburga as her chaplain, holding the hope that he could convert the pagan King as well as the Northumbrian people.
In 627, the Bishop’s hope came true. He baptized Edwin and his infant daughter at Easter in a wooden church at York, which led the way to many nobles and others seeking Baptism. Paulinus also built a church of stone at Lincoln where he consecrated Honorius, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 628. He thus came to be known as the first Christian missionary to labor in Northumbria.
In 633, King Edwin was slain in the battle of Hadfield Chase, and all missionary action had to be suspended. Paulinus took Queen Ethelburga and her two children back to Kent. He was then made Bishop of Rochester, comforting the people with his venerable and awe-inspiring presence for the rest of his days until death on October 10, 644.
PRAYER: Lord, through St. Paulinus, Your Bishop, You brought those who had no faith out of darkness into the light of truth. By his intercession, keep us strong in our faith and steadfast in the hope of the Gospel he preached. Amen.