St. Augustine of Canterbury

St. Augustine of Canterbury (died around 604 A.D.), whose feast day is May 27, was the first Archbishop of Canterbury and is known as the “Apostle of England.” He was a Benedictine monk who was sent by Pope Gregory the Great to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons. After making it as far as France, where he heard about how fierce and violent the Anglo-Saxons were, Augustine headed back to Rome, only to be sent out on his mission once more. Though his work often seemed like one step forward followed by two steps back, Augustine did eventually succeed in converting the king and many more. Instead of destroying pagan temples, he worked to consecrate them for Christian worship and linked Christian feasts to pagan ones, preserving the local culture while spreading the good news of Jesus.

“He who would climb to a lofty height must go by steps, not leaps.” — Pope Gregory the Great, in a letter to Augustine

Questions for Reflection:

  • We all experience high points and low points on our faith journey, and sometimes it might seem that we aren’t getting where we want to go. What setbacks have you experienced? What helped you get back on track again?

  • What small steps have been important in getting you where you are today in your relationship with God?