Today, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Augustine, born in 354 in Tagaste, northern Africa. Augustine was the son of Saint Monica, a devout Christian. However, one might say that in Augustine’s youth, he wasn’t one to follow in his mother’s saintly footsteps. In his early adulthood, Augustine had a concubine, who bore him a son; yet they never married. He dabbled is a few heresies such as Manicheanism (rooted in Gnosticism) and Neoplatonism (heavily influenced by the works of Plato).
The Conversion of Saint Augustine
It was only after moving to Italy, where he took a position in rhetoric, and after meeting Saint Ambrose, that Augustine began to explore the Christian faith. Although Augustine was gifted in rhetoric, he was no match for Saint Ambrose, who evangelized to Augustine on the truths of the faith. In 387, at the age of 33, after experiencing a profound personal crisis, Augustine converted to Christianity, with Saint Ambrose baptizing him. Augustine’s baptism became a major moment in his life. He gave up his career in rhetoric, to devote his full attention to religion, celibacy and the priesthood. In 391, Augustine was ordained to the priesthood. Because of his excellent rhetoric skills, he quickly became a famous preacher. By 396, Augustine was elevated to Bishop of Hippo, remaining in that position until his death, from illness, in 430.
A Life in Service to Others
Once ordained, Augustine gave his life to God, in the service of others. Today, Augustinian friars follow in his footsteps by journeying in constant search for God; practicing love of neighbor, and constantly pursuing truth. Today we celebrate the man who did all of these things, and the friars who follow in his footsteps. Happy Feast Day, Saint Augustine. Please pray for us!
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