Birinus, Apostle of Wessex

4 September -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of Missionaries, page 503

Birinus was born in the mid sixth century, probably of northern European origin, but he became a priest in Rome. Feeling called by God to serve as a missionary, he was consecrated bishop, and sent to Britain by the pope. He intended to evangelise inland where no Christian had been before but, arriving in Wessex in 634, he found such prevalent idolatry that he looked no further to begin work. One of his early converts was King Cynegils and thereafter he gained much support in his mission, as well as the town of Dorchester for his See. He died in about the year 650 having earned the title 'Apostle of the West Saxons'.