27 July 2012

St. Deusdedit, Archbishop of Canterbury

14 July, OS

St. Deusdedit was the first native bishop of Canterbury following the Augustinian mission to Britain, coming originally from Wessex. He was elevated to the episcopal throne in March of 655 AD by St Ithamar of Rochester. Although the famous Synod of Whitby, which brought the local church in Britain into unanimous conformity with the Orthodox dating of Holy Pascha as defined by the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea, took place during his reign, he is not recorded as having been in attendance (the most likely cause being an outbreak of plague which prevented travel). Shortly after the Synod, St. Deusdedit reposed this life, on 14 July 664. The Bosworth Psalter (a pre Schism source) designated the date of his commemoration as a major feast day of the English Church. He was originally laid to rest in St. Augustine's church in Canterbury, but his relics were later transferred to the new abbey in 1091. His shine remained there until the English Reformation and the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s, and are now presumed lost.

St. Deusdedit, pray for us sinners!