A Garner of Saints – Saint Augustine

illustration of Saint Augustine of Hippo from 'A Garner of Saints', 1900, artist unknownArticle

Doctor of the Church. The son of Patricius and Monica, born at Tagasta in Numidia on 13th November 354. In his youth, in spite of the Christian training given him by his mother, he devoted himself to pleasure and dissipation. Being a youth of brilliant parts he made great progress in law, to which he directed his studies, but he was plunged in the errors of Manichaeism, when the death of a friend arrested him in full career, and induced him to consider his ways. At the age of twenty-nine he proceeded to Rome, and, after surviving a serious illness, became very successful as a teacher of rhetoric, so that he was sent to teach at Milan. There he was converted by the preaching of Saint Ambrose, and was soon after baptized in the presence of his mother Monica. In the course of a short time he became a- priest, and was then made Bishop of Hippo, near Carthage. His episcopate was distinguished by many acts of piety and humility, and it is related that on one occasion he washed the feet of his Divine Master in the guise of a pilgrim. He died in 430, while Hippo was being besieged by the Vandals. He was the author of many works, the most notable being the “Confessions” and the “City of God.” He relates of himself that when he was writing on the Trinity, he wandered on the seashore lost in thought, and looking up he saw a child who had dug a hole in the sand and appeared to be bringing water from the sea to fill it. Augustine asked the boy what he was doing. “I am going to empty the sea into my hole,” was the reply. “Impossible,” exclaimed Augustine. “Not more impossible,” said the child, “than for thee, O Augustine, to explain the mystery upon which thou art now meditating.” After his death it is related that he and Saint Stephen miraculously came down from heaven to lay the Count of Orgaz in his tomb in the presence of Christ, the Virgin and the Court of Heaven, because the Count had repaired a church in his lifetime. 28th August.

Attributes

  • Habited as a bishop, with a flaming heart, or holding a heart transfixed by an arrow.
  • Usually holds a book in his hand, sometimes inscribed with the name of one of his works, or a pen.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint Augustine”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 April 2017. Web. 22 May 2017. <>