Augustine of Canterbury

Augustine in a manuscript

King Aethelberht of Kent

The legend has it that the Bishop of Rome, Pope Gregory the Great, seeing blond Saxon slaves in the Roman slave market, asked whom they were. He was answered that they were Angles, and he would have said “Not Angles but angels!”
It is true that seeing those slaves inspired him to evangelize the Angles and the Saxons, Germanic barbarians. He sent Augustine to Kent, whose king, Aethelberht had married a Frankish Christian princess.
Augustine succeeded in his mission and became, in 597, the first Archbishop of the Angles. This church will later merge with the indigenous Celtic Church, to form the Church of the Angles, the Anglican Church.
The present Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is the 105th successor to St. Augustine. He is also the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion.