Adapted from ACNS
The crozier of Pope Gregory, who sent Augustine to England to begin the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons, will be on display at Canterbury Cathedral during the Primates’ Meeting.
The cathedral will display the ancient carved ivory-headed crozier during the weekends before and after the Primates’ Meeting. It is on loan to the cathedral by the monks of San Gregorio al Celio in Rome.
St. Augustine had been prior of the monastery, which Pope Gregory I built before his elevation to the papacy. Augustine led a seven-year mission to England and is recognized as the first Archbishop of Canterbury.
“We are very pleased to receive the crozier as a symbol of ecumenical encouragement at this time of the meeting of Anglican Primates and as a link with St. Gregory, whose vision of the conversion of England caused Augustine to found the community at Canterbury,” said the Very Rev. Robert Willis, Dean of Canterbury.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said of the loan: “Allow me at this point to congratulate you on the highly symbolic value of the loan of this relic, dear to the Church of England, which venerates Pope St. Gregory the Great, the promoter of the evangelizing mission to the Anglo-Saxon people and is therefore a mark of the bond that spiritually unites the Catholic and Anglican Churches.”
The loan of the crozier head has been made possible by the Italian Government’s Fund for Religious Buildings, administered by the Ministry for the Interior and with support from the British Government. It will be on public display in Canterbury Cathedral’s crypt on Jan. 9-10 and Jan. 16-17. The cathedral’s usual admission charges apply.
For more information: The Anglican Communion Office has created a website and Twitter account for news and prayers about the Primates’ Meeting. The Most Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, asks that people pray daily for the Primates’ Meeting. The office has published a short litany and will add new prayers daily at primates2016.org.