Solemnity of St. Augustine of Hippo

Augustine of Hippo

Augustine of Hippo

(b. 354, 430)

Attributes

  • Book = Rule of Life
  • Flaming heart = Restless heart
  • Child on seashore = Explanation of the Trinity

Augustine was born on November 13, 354, in Tagaste, Numidia. He was educated as a rhetorician in the former North African cities of Tagaste and Carthage. Between the ages of 15 and 30, he lived with a Carthaginian woman whose name is unknown; in 372 she bore him a son, whom he named Adeodatus.

Augustine became an earnest seeker after truth. He considered becoming a Christian, but experimented with several philosophical systems before finally entering the Church. For nine years, from 373 until 382, he adhered to Manichaeism, with its fundamental principle of conflict between good and evil.

Around 384, Augustine went on to Milan as a teacher of rhetoric. There he came under the influence of the philosophy of Neo-Platonism and also met the bishop of Milan, St. Ambrose—then the most distinguished ecclesiastic in Italy. Augustine presently was attracted again to Christianity.

He returned to North Africa and was ordained in 391. He became bishop of Hippo in 395, an office he held until his death. It was a period of political and theological unrest. Augustine threw himself wholeheartedly into the theological battle. Besides combating the Manichaean heresy, Augustine engaged in two great theological conflicts: one was with the Donatists, a sect that held the sacraments invalid unless administered by sinless ecclesiastics; the other conflict was with the Pelagians, who denied the doctrine of original sin. In the course of this conflict, Augustine developed his doctrines of original sin and divine grace, divine sovereignty, and predestination. Augustine died at Hippo, August 28, 430.

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Date(s) - August 28, 2017
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