St. Augustine

28 AUGUST

Augustine was born in 354 A.D. in Hippo, N. Africa. He entered into catechumens and school as a young boy. At 17, he went to Carthage for school and took up many excesses in living as well.  He fathered a child with a woman he lived with for 15 years.  His mother, St. Monica, is renowned for never ceasing to pray for Augustine.

He continued in this way for years, also establishing his own schools of rhetoric and grammar. In Milan he met Bishop Ambrose and learned of God and Jesus Christ.  This began a battle which he fought many years.  Wishing to surrender to Christianity, he was bound by his iron will.  He said, “give me chastity, but not yet awhile”.  In 386, he won the battle—experiencing a powerful conversion to Christ.  He went to live in community with his family and friends, praying and studying to become a new man in Christ.

In N. Africa, after his mother’s death, he began writing and teaching again.  He had no desire to become a priest, but was ordained assistant to the Bishop of Hippo and established a sort of monastery next to the church, following the example of the apostles. Possessions were renounced and meals and routines simple.  He preached and served there 35 years.

Known to be friendly and affectionate; he opposed sin, but with meekness and love.  Augustine protected the faith and influenced many with his letters and sermons.  He fell ill and died reading penitential psalms August 28, 430 at the age of 76. The fullest knowledge and understanding of Augustine comes in reading his confessions and many other writings.

Source:  Butler’s Lives of the Saints, Complete Edition, Volume III, edited, revised and supplemented by Herbert Thurston, S.J. and Donald Attwater

Links to Writings:

The Confessions (397–401)

The City of God (413–426)

On Christian Doctrine (396–426)

On the Trinity (400-416)

Handbook on Faith, Hope and Love (Enchiridion) (421–424)

Soliloquies

Letters of St Augustine (386–429)


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