In the mid 640‘s, his family fled to Naples, Italy ahead of Arab invasion. Benedictine monk when quite young. Abbot of Hiridanum, Isle of Nisida, Bay of Naples. Aquainted with Emperor Constans II, who later introduced him to Pope Saint Vitalian. Advisor to Vitalian.
Twice offered the Archbishopric of Canterbury, England; he declined, citing unworthiness. When Saint Theodore of Tarsus was sent instead, Adrian went as his assistant with special support to aid the monastic movement in the region. Detained in France due to suspicions of espionage for the emperor. Arrived in England in 669. Abbot of Saint Peter‘s, a monastery founded by Augustine of Canterbury.
Adrian and Theodore were highly successful missionaries in largely pagan England. In addition, Adrian was a great teacher of languages, mathematics, poetry, astronomy, and Bible study. Under his leadership, the School of Canterbury became the center of English learning. Worked to unify the customs of the English with the Church, and to promote Roman customs.
- c.635 in Libya Cyrenaica, North Africa as Hadrian
- 9 January 710 of natural causes at Canterbury, England, and buried there
- his tomb became a site of miracles
- body found incorrupt in 1091
- “Saint Adrian of Canterbury“. CatholicSaints.Info. 6 September 2009. Web. 1 April 2015. <>