Paulinus was a Roman monk from St. Andrew’s monastery in Rome. St. Bede describes him as tall and thin, with a slightly stooping figure; he had black hair and an aquiline nose and was of venerable and awe-inspiring stature. He was sent by St. Gregory the Great in 601, with St. Mellitus and others, to help St. Augustine and to carry the pallium to him.
He worked in Kent, with the possible exception of a mission to East Anglia when he accompanied Ethelburga (Aethelburh), the sister of King Eadbald of Kent, to the Northumbrian Court to marry King Edwin, who, then, was a pagan.
Before leaving Kent, he was consecrated bishop by St. Justus, archbishop of Canterbury. He was successful in converting Edwin and many of his people. The king was baptized on April 12, 627.
With the assistance of St. Edwin, he established his see at York and began to build a stone church there. His apostolic work in instructing and baptizing the people of the north country of England were unceasing.
On the defeat of St. Edwin in 633, Paulinus carried the queen and her children safely to Kent; and, as the heathen reaction under Penda made missionary work impossible in Northumbria, he devoted himself to the Diocese of Rochester, then vacant.
It was after his flight that he received the pallium from Rome (634), sent to him as Archbishop of York. He died at Rochester, Oct. 10, 644. and was buried in his church. On the rebuilding of the cathedral, his relics were transferred by Archbishop Lanfranc to a silver shrine where they lay till the Reformation.
Adapted by A.J. Valentini