Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 6 January – Saint Peter of Canterbury (Died c 614) Priest, Abbot

Saint of the Day – 6 January – Saint Peter of Canterbury (Died c 614) Priest, Missionary, the First Abbot of the Monastery of Sts Peter and Paul in Canterbury (later St Augustine’s Abbey) and a companion of St Augustine of Canterbury (Died c 605) in the Gregorian mission to Kent.

It is presumed that Peter was a native of Italy, like the other members of the Gregorian mission. This mission was dispatched by Pope Gregory the Great in 596 to Christianise the Anglo-Saxons from their paganism. It landed in Kent in 597 and soon converted King Æthelberht of Kent, who gave Augustine the land on which he founded the Abbey that later became St Augustine’s, Canterbury.

The medieval historian, the Venerable St Bede records that sometime after the mission’s arrival in England, probably in late 600, Peter, along with fellow-missionary St Laurence, was sent back to Gregory. This deputation was to relay the news of St Augustine’s successes in Kent and to request more missionaries. They also conveyed to the Pope a number of inquiries from St Augustine about how to proceed with the mission and when they returned in 601, they brought back Gregory’s replies to Augustine.

Peter became the First Abbot of the Monastery which King Æthelberht founded in Canterbury, originally dedicated to the Saints Peter and Paul but later rededicated as St Augustine’s, after the leader of the mission.

St Bede describes Peter as both Abbot and Presbyter’Priest.
Peter drowned while crossing the English Channel on the way to Gaul, at a place called Ambleteuse, near Boulogne. At first he was buried hastily nearby but St Bede reports that after a light illuminated the grave every night, the locals realised Peter was a Saint and exhumed him and re-interred him in Boulogne Church with suitable honour.

The actual date of death is unknown and since his feast day was celebrated on two different days, 30 December or 6 January, that information does not clear up the mystery. The date of his death is reported to have been 1 year, 7 months and 3 weeks after Augustine’s, by Thomas of Elmham, a 15th Century chronicler. If this is true, this would give a year of death between 605 and 611. This information, however, is contradicted by the fact that Peter was present at the Council of Paris in 614, convened by Chlothar II. It is possible that he died during his return from this Council.

Peter was Canonised in 1915 Pope Benedict XV (cultus confirmed).

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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