An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Augustine of Canterbury

(d. May 26, 604 or 605). First Archbishop of Canterbury. He began his career as prior of St. Andrew's monastery in Rome. Pope Gregory the Great sent Augustine and some other monks to England in 597 to refound the church in England. They arrived in Kent and began their missionary work. King Ethelbert, whose wife Bertha was already a Christian, adopted Christianity and was baptized by Augustine. He was the first Christian king in England. Augustine was consecrated an archbishop at Arles, in France. He rebuilt and reconsecrated an old church at Canterbury and founded a monastery in connection with it. One of Augustine's final acts, probably in 604, was to send Justus to preach west of the Medway, with the title of Bishop of Rochester, and Mellitus to preach among the East Saxons, with the title of Bishop of London. Augustine's missionary work is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on May 26.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.