Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Fourth Archbishop of Canterbury ; died 627 (?). For the particulars of his life we are almost entirely dependent on Venerable Bede's "Historia Ecclesiastica", the additions of medieval writers, such as William of Malmesbury or Elmham, possessing no authority. Justus was one of the second band of missionaries sent by St. Gregory the Great, the company which arrived in 601 to reinforce St. Augustine and which conveyed the relics, books, sacred vessels, and other gifts sent by the pope. It is not certain whether he was a secular priest or a monk. St. Bede is silent on the point and only later monastic writers from Canterbury claim him as one of their own order. In 604 he was consecrated by St. Augustine as first Bishop of Rochester, on which occasion King Ethelbert bestowed on the new see, by charter, a territory called Priestfield and other lands. Other charters in which his name occurs are of dubious authenticity. After the death of Augustine, Justus joined with the new Archbishop, St. Laurence, and with Mellitus of London in addressing letters to the recalcitrant British bishops, but without effect. During the heathen reaction which followed the death of Ethelbert, Justus was expelled from his see and took refuge in Gaul for a year, after which he was recalled by Eadbald who had been converted by St. Laurence. On the death of St. Mellitus (24 April, 624) who had succeeded St. Laurence as archbishop, St. Justus was elected to the vacant primacy. The letter which Pope Boniface addressed to him when sending him the pallium is preserved by Venerable Bede (H. F., II, 8). He was already an old man, and little is recorded of his pontificate except that he consecrated Romanus as Bishop of Rochester and St. Paulinus as Bishop for the North. His anniversary was kept at Canterbury on 10 November, but there is uncertainty as to the year of his death, though 627, the commonly received date, would appear to be correct, especially as it fits in with the period of three years usually assigned by the chroniclers to his archiepiscopate. He was buried with his predecessors at St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury, and is commemorated in the English supplement to the Missal and Breviary on 10 November.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Job 9:1-12, 14-16
1 Job spoke next. He said:2 Indeed, I know ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:10-11, 12-13, 14-15
10 Do you work wonders for the dead, can shadows rise ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:57-62
57 As they travelled along they met a man on the road ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 1st, 2014 Image

St. Therese of Lisieux
October 1: Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter