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Diocese of Antsiranana
(Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean)
Two gypsies beggars and a Beggar Bishop outside Aix en Provence Cathedral
Photo No. : P080214-4

Archbishop's Palace now a tapestry museum since 1911
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Cathedral cloisters
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Aix-en-Provence Saint Sauveur Cathedral visit by Bishop Roger Chung Jaomalaza where St Augustine of Canterbury received help from Bishop Protasius for his mission empowerment to Anglo Saxons in Kent in 596
 
ANTSIRANANA 080214-3
February 14, 2008

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] Pope Gregory the Great sent Augustine to evangelise the Anglo Saxons in Canterbury , Kent . Augustine stopped in Aix when he was discouraged together with his team of missionary monks to face the violent and ruthless peoples there in Britain, so frightening were the rumours then ...
Below is the historical event as told before the resulting Anglican Communion would eventually birth in the 20th century from Augustine's mission ...and more to come with the Lambeth Conference 2008 this year in Kent university in Canterbury.

HISTORY ........

(( The pope was obliged to complain of the lack of episcopal zeal among Aethelberht Christian neighbours. Whether we are to understand the phrase ex vicinis (Greg., Epp.,VI) as referring to Gaulish prelates or to the Celtic bishops of northern and western Britain, the fact remains that neither Bertha's piety, nor Luidhard's preaching, nor Aethelberht's toleration, nor the supposedly robust faith of British or Gaulish neighbouring peoples was found adequate to so obvious an opportunity until a Roman pontiff, distracted with the cares of a world supposed to be hastening to its eclipse, first exhorted forty Benedictines of Italian blood to the enterprise. The itinerary seem to have been speedily, if vaguely, prepared; the little company set out upon their long journey in the month of June, 596. They were armed with letters to the bishops and Christian princes of the countries through which they were likely to pass, and they were further instructed to provide themselves with Frankish interpreters before setting foot in Britain itself. Discouragement, however, appears early to have overtaken them on their way. Tales of the uncouth islanders to whom they were going chilled their enthusiasm, and some of their number actually proposed that they should draw back. Augustine so far compromised with the waverers that he agreed to return in person to Pope Gregory and lay before him plainly the difficulties which they might be compelled to encounter. The band of missionaries waited for him in the neighbourhood of Aix-en-Provence. Pope Gregory, however, raised the drooping spirits of Augustine and sent him back without delay to his faint-hearted brethren, armed with more precise, and as it appeared, more convincing authority.

Augustine was named abbot of the missionaries (Bede, H. E.,I, xxiii) and was furnished with fresh letters in which the pope made kindly acknowledgment of the aid thus far offered by Protasius, Bishop of Aix-en-Provence, by Stephen, Abbot of L?rins, and by a wealthy lay official of patrician rank called Arigius [Greg., Epp., VI (indic. xiv) num. 52 sqq.;sc. 3,4,5 of the Benedictine series]. Augustine must have reached Aix on his return journey some time in August; for Gregory's message of encouragement to the party bears the date of July the twenty-third, 596. Whatever may have been the real source of the passing discouragement no more delays are recorded. The missionaries pushed on through Gaul, passing up through the valley of the Rhone to Arles on their way to Vienne and Autun, and thence northward, by one of several alternatives routes which it is impossible now to fix with accuracy, until they come to Paris.))