Debate Magazine

St. Adrian of Canterbury, Scholar

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

Today, the universal Church celebrates St. Adrian of Canterbury, a great leader, scholar and servant of Our Lord and His people.  Let’s look at this scholarly saint.

This African man became Abbot of Nerida, a Benedictine monastery near Naples, Italy, when he was very young,  Pope St. Vitalian desired Adrian to accept the post of Archbishop of Canterbury, England, but he declined, indicating that he was not worthy for such a high appointment, recommending to the Pope that he appoint instead, Theodore, a Greek monk.  Although the Pope was disappointed with Adrian’s response, he took his advice and appointed Theodore the Archbishop of Canterbury, under condition that Adrian be his advisor, and that he accompany him to England.

When Archbishop Theodore and Adrian arrived in England, Theodore appointed Adrian at once the Abbot of St. Peter in Canterbury, a monastery founded by St. Augustine of Canterbury, the apostle of England, which thereafter became known as St. Austin’s.  Adrian accompanied the Archbishop whilst he was traveling in England, assisting him in unifying the customs and practices of the Anglo-Saxon Church with the Church of Rome.

Adrian, a determined scholar, was learned in ecclesiastical learning, as well as languages and other subjects.  Indeed and in fact, this monastery became one of the most important centers of English learning, attracting many outstanding scholars from far and wide, producing numerous future bishops and archbishops.  Adrian taught there for approximately 40 years, and also during this time, established many other schools in different parts of England.  Adrian died on January 9th, 710, being buried in his monastery.

Several hundred years thereafter, whilst reconstruction was being done in the monastery, Adrian’s body was discovered in an incorruptible state.  This fact spread and many people came to his tomb, and various miracles were performed.  It is said that young schoolboys in trouble, for which we would call “juvenile delinquents”, went with their Masters to this holy site making regular visits there.

Let us remember this holy man, and his numerous accomplishments to assist the Church in England in a most important time of its history.  Let us also remember him as an example, to use our intellect and free will wisely and prudently, so as to serve the Triune God and the people of God effectively and with great love.  Let us have a love of learning and truth, for the greater glory of God, which is exhibited by our own leader of our Fellowship, Dr. Eowyn.  May St. Adrian intercede for us before Our Lord for our own particular intentions.



Sources:  Catholic Encyclopedia;

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