Saint Brigid Religious Education
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West Hartford, CT 06110

St. Augustine

Feast day: August 28

Augustine was born in Roman N. Africa to a devout Catholic mother and a pagan father on November 13, 354.  He was a notoriously rebellious Catholic teenager, and ran away from his mother.  As a grown man he became a brilliant and renowned teacher of public speaking and was appointed by the emperor to teach in Milan, Italy.  While there, he happened to hear the preaching of the bishop of Milan, Ambrose who baptized him in 386. 

St. Augustine ultimately renounced his secular career and became a monk. With the objective of living a life of poverty and prayer, he sold his property and gave the proceeds to the poor. Although he did not think of becoming a priest, during a visit to Hippo, as he was praying in the church, people suddenly gathered around him and persuaded the bishop of Hippo, Valerius, to ordain Augustine. He was ordained in 391, and in Tagaste, established a monastery, and preached against Manichaeism with great success. When he was forty-two, he became bishop Hippo, where he was bishop for thirty-four years.

During his years as bishop, Augustine combated the Manichaean heresy, strongly affirming free will and expounding on the problem of evil, he struggled against the Donatist heresy that attacked the divine institution and hierchical nature of the Church. In later years he would confront the Pelagian heresy that denied the doctrine of original sin and the effects of grace; and the heresy of Arianism, which denied that the Son is of the same substance as the Father.

Augustine died August 28, 430 at the age of seventy-five. His perennial contribution to and influence on Catholic doctrine and thought and on Christian belief and piety is incalculable, and his many theological and philosophical works, especially the Confessions and the City of God have continue to captivate and inspire mankind for more than fifteen-hundred years.

St. Augustine of Hippo is commonly recognized as the great teacher in the Western Church between the New Testament and St. Thomas Aquinas. He was one of the most influential thinkers in the entire history of the Church. 

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