The relics were placed in an urn of white marble, which is still extant and much revered because of the relics it had once contained. Here they remained for nearly two hundred and twenty-two years, until the beginning years of the eighth century.
According to Bede (672 – 736), the ancient English ecclesiastical historian, the body of Augustine was moved fifty years after his death. It was taken to the city of Cagliari on the island of Sardinia by the bishops whom Huneric, a Vandal, had expelled from North Africa.
Bede, wrote in his "True Martyrology," that the body of Augustine was subsequently redeemed out of the hands of the Saracens there, and deposited in the church of Saint Peter at Pavia, Italy, about the year 720.
Peter Oldrad, Archbishop of Milan, wrote a history of this second transfer of body of Augustine. He wrote that this happened because Sardinia was no longer a safe resting place for Augustine’s bones.
This was the case because, during this era of the Moslem invasion of Western Europe and the Islamic occupation of Spain and all of Southern Gaul, troops who were returning to Africa disembarked at Sardinia and pillaged on the island.
Luitprand, the king of the Lombards, became gravely concerned and fearful lest the relics of Augustine should suffer profanation. In all haste he sent to the island a commission of eminent personages charged with the duty of procuring at all costs the venerable remains. They obtained the relics for sixty thousand gold crowns and returned to Genoa with the sacred remains.
Luitprand himself met the returning ship, and, together with a party of his troops, a large number of bishops and priests and a huge throng of people accompanied the remains of Augustine to Pavia where they were placed in the crypt of the Church of St. Peter of the Golden Ceiling. This was probably in the year 720. Pavia was Luitprand’s capital city, and the Church of St Peter was at some time its cathedral.
Liutprand took care to have the body of Augustine hidden with the utmost care under a brick wall in a coffin of lead enclosed in another of silver. (Liutprand is also buried in this church.)
All of this was then placed within a coffin of marble, upon which in many places was engraved the name Augustinus.
Liutprand entrusted the bones of Augustine and the Church of Saint Peter in Ciel d'oro to the Order of Saint Benedict (the Benedictines).
In the twelfth century, Pope Honorius III (pope in 1216-1227), who himself had been one of the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine, insisted that the church be placed in the charge of the Augustinians Canons.
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