Feast of St Augustine of Hippo
Fr Paul reads the Gospel from Matthew (25: 1-13) about the sensible and foolish bridesmaids with their lamps waiting for the bridegroom’s arrival.
Today we celebrate the life of St Augustine, son of Monica. Fr Pauls says that like Monica, who we celebrated yesterday, Augustine was born in Thagaste in Africa into a Berber family. He was brought up Christian but he left the church early due, as we heard yesterday, to ‘uncertain morals and a wayward spiritual career, despite his brilliant intellect’.
In short, when Augustine left the church he went wild and he spent a great deal of his time searching for the truth. First in the Manichaeism heresy then in Neoplatonism.
It was through the prayers of his mother, Monica, and the teachings of St Ambrose of Milan that Augustine converted back to Christianity and was baptised in 387 (just before his mother’s death).
Up until this time, Augustine had a brilliant legal and academic career but after his conversion he returned home to Africa. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and he spent 34 years looking after those of his flock.
Augustine wrote an enormous amount and left a permanent mark on both philosophy and theology. His greatest works, it is argued, are what are called his ‘Confessions’. They are a landmark in the world’s literature.
Augustine was declared a doctor of the church in 1308.
Today we remember and celebrate the life of St Augustine.