St. Augustine of Hippo

 

st-augustine-of-hippoSt. Augustine of Hippo was born on November 13, 354 into a respectable, but not rich, family. Augustine’s father was a pagan and his mother, St. Monica, was a Christian who brought her husband to the grace of baptism as a Christian. Monica had Augustine signed with the cross and saw to it that he received a Christian education as a youth.

Despite his Christian education, Augustine was not baptized until he was thirty-three years old and was ordained a priest at thirty-six and consecrated a bishop at forty-one. Before being baptized, Augustine’s faith and morals underwent several crises as Augustine was lured by physical pleasures and intellectual pursuits, some of which led him away from Christ.

It would be an understatement to say that Augustine did not always live a saintly life before his conversion. Monica would not abandon her son, however, as she continued to pray for his conversion. In Milan, Augustine met Bishop Ambrose. The preaching of St. Ambrose and the instructions that he would give Augustine along with the Lord speaking to him in the Scriptures were among the factors that God used to bring Augustine to baptism. Once converted to Christianity, Augustine used his keen intellect to denounce heresies and spread the Gospel. He would serve as Bishop of Hippo for thirty-four years. St. Augustine died at the age of seventy-six on August 28, 430.

There are many writings and sermons of St. Augustine which have survived to this day, including his Confessions which is his autobiography and which is excellent spiritual reading to this day. Augustine was named a Doctor of the Church because of the depth of his theological writings.

The Feast of St. Augustine is celebrated on August 28.