Lawrence of Canterbury, St.
LAWRENCE OF CANTERBURY, ST.
Benedictine (?) monk, second archbishop of canterbury; d. Feb. 2, 619. Probably already a priest, Lawrence accompanied St. augustine of canterbury in the first Anglo-Saxon mission that arrived in Kent (597). Having returned to Rome, he brought additional missionaries to England in 601; and upon Augustine's death (May 26, 604 or 605), having already been consecrated by Augustine himself, he succeeded as archbishop. During his tenure there was a serious anti-Christian reaction c. 617, and reputedly he was restrained from abandoning England only by a dream in which he was scourged by St. Peter. Under his leadership there was no expansion of the Church in England and continued efforts to reconcile Celtic Christians to his authority proved fruitless. He was buried beside Augustine in the church of SS. Peter and Paul, Canterbury (st. augustine's abbey).
Feast: Feb. 3 (Dioceses of Westminster and Southwark).
Bibliography: bede, Historia Ecclesiastica 1.27, 33; 2.4–7. a. w. haddan and w. stubbs, eds., Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents Relating to Great Britain and Ireland, 3 v. in 4 (Oxford 1869–78) 3:61–70. w. bright, Chapters of Early English Church History (3d ed. Oxford 1897). f. m. stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (2d ed. Oxford 1947) 106–113, 125, 127. c. j. godfrey, The Church in Anglo-Saxon England (New York 1962).
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