St. Augustine of Hippo Overview
- Birth: November 13, 354
- Location: North Africa (modern Algeria)
- Death: August 28, 430
- Beatification: N/A (Before the Congregation for the Causes of Saints)
- Canonized: Unknown (Before the Congregation for the Causes of Saints)
- Feast Day: August 28
- Patron Saint of: theologians, printers, brewers, searches
St. Augustine – Early Life
St. Augustine was born in North Africa in 354. As a young man, he was obsessed with vanity, ambition, and pleasure.
His mother, St. Monica, prayed for him every day, hoping for his conversion.
One day Augustine found himself weeping in a garden when he heard a child’s voice repeating the phrase, “Take up and read!” Augustine was moved to reach for the Bible, and the very first passage he opened to was a call to put aside “drunkenness and sexual excess” and to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” These words spoke directly to his sins and filled him with unexplainable light; his anxieties and doubts miraculously disappeared.
Road to Sainthood
He turned his life around, and a year later, Augustine was baptized with his son by the bishop, St. Ambrose.
Augustine was later ordained the bishop of Hippo, and his sermons and writings have so deeply influenced Catholic theology that he was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Boniface VIII in 1298.
His legacy also includes the Order of St. Augustine, commonly known as Augustinians or Augustinian Friars, one of the largest religious orders in the world.
St. Augustine’s “Confessions”
St. Augustine is well known for his autobiographical work “Confessions,” a 13-book series that chronicled his faith journey.
It’s not considered a full autobiography because Augustine lived much longer after writing it.
“Confessions” continues to inspire people in their own faith lives in the 21st century. Augustine’s work, “City of God” was a significant contribution to Western thought. Both books are widely used in theology classes, having withstood the test of time as important works on faith and ethics.
St. Augustine Prayer
Consider the beautiful prayer to the Holy Spirit written by St. Augustine:
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.
Call upon the Holy Spirit and ask Him to fill you with His life.
St. Augustine of Hippo, pray for us.
St. Augustine Quotes
While St. Augustine wrote some of the most famous books in the history of Christian thought, some of his short quotes remain among the most powerful expressions of love of God that we have.
Below are a few quotes to inspire you:
- Great are You, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is Your power, and of Your wisdom there is no end… for You have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in You. (Source)
- “In a spirit of thankfulness let me recall the mercies you lavished on me, O my God; to you let me confess them May I be flooded with love for you until my very bones cry out, “Who is like you, O Lord?” (Book VIII)
- “Ah, how high you are in the heights of heaven, how deep in the depths! From no place are you absent, yet how tardily do we return to you! Come, Lord, arouse us and call us back, kindle us and seize us, prove to us how sweet you are in your burning tenderness; let us love you and run to you.” (Book VIII)
St. Augustine and Your Prayer Life
Turn to St. Augustine when you’re looking to turn away from sin and seeking virtue. Ask for his intercession when you’re searching for truth, wisdom or guidance.
- St. Augustine, Fla. (City’s namesake)
- St. Augustine Parish and High School (New Orleans)
- St. Augustine Catholic Church (Washington, D.C.)
- St. Augustine Catholic Church (San Francisco)
- St. Augustine College (Chicago)
- Augustine College (Ottawa, Canada)
- Augustine Prep (Milwaukee)
- St. Augustine Prep (Roseland, N.J.)