St. Adrian was likely born in Libya Cyrenaica, North Africa. He decided to become a monk early in his life, and eventually became the abbot of Hiridanum (the Isle of Nisida) in the Bay of Naples. There, he met Emperor Constans II and Pope Vitalian, becoming a valuable papal advisor.

Three years after meeting the pope, Adrian was offered the position of Archbishop of Canterbury. He initially declined, but was convinced to go to England as a trusted counselor.

After his travels through France and into Britain, Adrian immediately succeeded Benedict Biscop as Abbot of St. Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury. He built a monastic school, where many future bishops and abbots studied Greek, Latin, scripture, theology, and more.

St. Adrian died on January 9 at Canterbury. Hundreds of years after his death, his body was found to be incorrupt.