FAITH TEACHER

Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine was born in Tagaste – now Algeria – on November 13, 354 and died in Hippo on August 28, 430. His father, Patrick, was a pagan of well-off social position who, after a long resistance to faith, at the end of his life he converted to Christianity. Mónica, his mother, was a devout Christian. By becoming her widow, she devoted herself totally to the conversion of her son Augustine. The first thing he taught his son Augustine was to pray, but after seeing him enjoy those holy lessons, she suffered as he saw how he was turning away from the Truth until his spirit was infected with Manichean errors and his heart, with the customs of the dissolute Rome. Trusting in the words of a Holy Bishop who told her: “the son of so many tears cannot be lost”, she, Monica, did not stop trying to convert him through prayer and persuasion until she succeeded.

After a permanent search, at age 32 Saint Augustine hands over his person to God, converting to the Catholic faith. Although Augustine did not think about the priesthood, he was ordained in 391 by the Bishop of Hipona, Valerio, who took him as an assistant. Saint Augustine is one of the fundamental examples of the constant search for God, for truth and for knowledge. This search was not done in solitude but in close relationship with others, especially his mother, Santa Mónica, and his friends. Saint Augustine says: We need others to be us.” This is another teaching of Augustine; the importance of community for personal life and for the search for truth in reflection and dialogue with others.

354 November 13
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“Few men have possessed such an affectionate and brotherly heart as that of Saint Augustine.”