Hadrian of Canterbury, St.

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Abbot of st. augustine's Abbey, Canterbury; b. Africa; d. Canterbury, Jan. 9, 709. Hadrian (Adrian) helped to stabilize papal influence and to establish a tradition of sound learning in Anglo-Saxon England. As a benedictine, perhaps in Africa and certainly at Niridan near Naples, where he became abbot, he was well formed in Greek and Latin secular and sacred literature, as well as in monastic and ecclesiastical discipline. Chosen by Pope vitalian to succeed in the See of Canterbury, he demurred, but together with benedict biscop and the new archbishop, Theodore of Tarsus (theodore of canterbury), he was sent to England to serve as guide, counselor, and assurer of orthodoxy (670). As abbot of St. Augustine's at Canterbury, he established schools for liberal and ecclesiastical studies to compete with those of the Celts (Scoti ). These became centers for better instruction in Greek and Latin and were noted for their adherence to the ecclesiastical customs of Rome, especially the form of baptism, tonsure, and the dating of Easter. They promoted close ties with the papacy and unity of the Anglo-Saxon Church with the universal Church. His cult is evidenced in early martyrologies of England and Germany.

Feast: Jan. 9.

Bibliography: bede, Ecclesiastical History 4.1, 2; 5.20, 23; Historia abbatum in Opera historica, ed. c. plummer, 2 v. (Oxford 1896; 2d ed. 1956). aldhelm, Epistola ad Leutherium, Monumenta Germaniae Auctores antiquissimi (Berlin 1825) 15:476478. a. s. cook, "Hadrian of Africa," Philological Quarterly 2 (1923) 241258. e. s. duckett, Anglo-Saxon Saints and Scholars (New York 1947). f. m. stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (2d ed. Oxford 1947) 131132, 180183. r. h. hodgkin, A History of the Anglo-Saxons, 2 v. (3d ed. London 1952).

[t. a. carroll]

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Hadrian of Canterbury, St.

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