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Saint Adrian

Saint Adrian
  • Century: 8th Century
  • Patronage: -
  • Feast Day: January 9th

St. Adrian was a Berber, a native of North Africa. He was the Abbot of a Monastery near Naples, called “Monasterium Niridanum”, on the island of Nisida.  He was offered the vacant Archbishopric of Canterbury by Pope Vitalian, two separate times, but modestly declined the appointment.   

He first recommended that it should be given to Andrew, a monk belonging to a neighboring Nunnery, who also declined on the plea of being too old.  When the offer was made the second time to Adrian, he introduced to the Pontiff his friend Theodore of Tarsus, who then by chance happened to be in Rome, and who agreed to take the position.  Pope Vitalian, however stipulated that Adrian should accompany the new Archbishop to Britain.  He gave as his reasons that Adrian, having twice before made a journey into Gaul, knew the road and the mode of traveling.  

The two set out for Rome on May 27, 668.  From there they went north to France, and parted ways.  Adrian became the first Bishop of Sens. Adrian was detained by order of Ebrion, who is said to have suspected him of being a emissary of the Greek emperor sent to stir up troubles against the kingdom of the Franks.  Finally, Adrian was permitted to proceed to England, where upon his arrival was made the Abbot of the Monastery of St. Peter, later called St. Augustine’s Abbey at Canterbury.   

Adrian was known to be a man that was well versed in the Bible, as well as Greek and Latin, and an excellent Administrator.  Under his direction the abbey came to have substantial, far reaching influence.  He taught many the languages of Greet and Latin, and a record of his teaching is preserved in the Leiden Glossary.  Adrian long survived his friend the Archbishop, and is said to have lived for thirty-nine years after he came to England, continuing until his death, presiding over the monastery at Canterbury.  He died on January 9th, which the Church celebrates his feast day.  He is buried in the church of the monastery.  

Practical Take Away 

St. Adrian was a Berber, a native of North Africa. He was the Abbot of a Monastery near Naples, called “Monasterium Niridanum”, on the island of Nisida.  He was offered the position as Archbishop of Canterbury, and declined, so he could remain as the abbot of the monastery of Canterbury.  He was well versed in both Greek and Latin, and was able to have substantial influence because of his great teaching.