This Day in Christian History: June 1
June 1, 597: Saxon King Ethelbert is baptized
|Sculpture of Ethelbert of Kent|
The Pope sent Augustine as a missionary to Kent in 597. Shortly following his arrival, Ethelbert converted to Christianity and was baptized. The exact date of Ethelbert's conversion in unknown, but tradition holds it to be around the first of June, the summer after Augustine arrived in Kent.
Ethelbert's conversion was what opened the door for the rapid spread of Christianity among the Angles and Saxons.