St. Augustine was born in Tagaste in modern Algeria. He was the son of St. Monica and as mentioned in my post yesterday spent many years living an unholy life, yet he was one of the most intelligent persons who ever lived. Monica prayed daily for her son’s conversion.
After finishing school, Augustine went to Milan and became a professor. Augustine often listened to the sermons of Ambrose which had a great impact on him. Finally, he was convinced that Christianity was the true religion. Yet he did not become a Christian right away because he thought he could never live a pure life. One day, he read the life of St. Anthony of the Desert which is a story about two men who had suddenly changed and became good Christians. He went to the garden and prayed to be free from his sins and he heard a child’s voice chanting, “Take up and read.” Thinking that God wanted him to hear those words he opened his Bible and read the first thing his eyes fell upon, Romans, chapter 13. Paul says to stop living bad lives and live like Jesus. It’s what Augustine needed! Augustine then gave up his life of sin and began a new life.
He was baptized in 387 by Ambrose. Augustine, Monica, Augustine’s son and other devoted people moved to the country to pray and write. From there they began the journey back to Africa but Monica died along the way.
Augustine reached home and gave away all he had and lived a quiet, prayerful life. In 391, he visited the city of Hippo. Valerius was the local bishop and was preaching on the shortage of priests. Augustine became a priest and took Valerius’ place when he died. As bishop, he fought false religious teachings, protected the people from corrupt officials and invaders, cared for the sick, poor and those in prison.
St. Augustine was a famous Catholic writer and Doctor of the Church. He started the Augustinian order and became one of the greatest saints who ever lived. He is the patron of theology. Read his Confessions for more information on his life and conversion.
“Too late have I loved Thee, O Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Too late have I loved Thee! And lo! Thou wert within and I abroad searching for Thee. Thou wert with me, but I was not with Thee.” ~ St Augustine