Saint of the Week:
St. Augustine of Hippo
“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him, the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement.”
FEAST DAY: August 28
PATRON SAINT of printers, brewers and theologians
Have you ever wondered if there’s an expiration date to God’s mercy? Do you feel like you’ve used up all the second chances He’s given you to set your life straight? Are you worried that God has given up on you? If any of these thoughts have ever entered your mind or heart, then it’s a perfect time to learn about the life of St. Augustine — a sinner turned saint! In his famous autobiography Confessions, he tells the story of his struggles and journey to finding God.
Augustine was born on November 13, 354 in Tagaste, North Africa. His mother, (Saint) Monica, was a devout Christian; however, his father Patricius was an ill-tempered pagan. It was only at his deathbed that Patricius was baptized after experiencing a conversion of the heart influenced by his wife’s patience and love. As a child, Augustine excelled in school but fell into the wrong crowd as he got older. He eventually moved-in with a woman, but never married her. At the age of 20, Augustine became a father to a son named Adeodatus. He was then influenced by the heresy of Manichaeism, which he followed and preached. Through all this, his mother never stopped praying for him and urging him to turn to Christ; but Augustine resisted her pleas.
When he finished school, Augustine became a speech teacher in Rome and then a professor in Milan. His mother followed him to these places. In Milan, Augustine encountered (Saint) Ambrose, the local bishop, from whom he learned to read Scripture prayerfully. One day, as he was praying to be free from his sins, Augustine heard a child’s voice chanting, “Take up and read.” Augustine opened the Bible and read the first thing his eyes fell upon — Romans 13:13-14, which told him to give up his life of sin. Augustine was baptized and began reforming his life. He and his mother made plans to return home to Africa, but she died before they could. Once he arrived home, Augustine gave away everything he had. He eventually became the Bishop of Hippo, and was loved by many until he died at the age of 76.
Augustine’s life is evidence that God’s love and mercy has no limits. Out of pure love for you, God will pursue your heart from beginning to end, no matter how much you may try to resist Him.
ST. AUGUSTINE'S PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.