Saint Augustine was born in a small town of Numidia in North Africa. His father, was a pagan and of a violent disposition; but through the example and prudent conduct of his wife, Saint Monica, he was baptised a little before his death.
His father wanted him to become a rich and educated man and cared very little about his character. He did so well with his studies that he went to Carthage in 370. There, he met evil friends and became their leader, his life turned into theatres and corruption. As for his studies, he devoted himself to the study of jurisprudence and laws, eager to advance to the legal profession and the judiciary.
At Carthage, he entered into relations with a woman who bore him a son, Adeodatus. He also studied the Scriptures but from a subjective attitude. He was offended with the simplicity of style, and could not relish their humility or penetrate their spirit. Then he fell into Manichaeism – a combination of pagan religions and philosophy.
For nine years his devoted mother, Saint Monica, spurred on by the assurance of St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan that “the son of so many tears could not perish”, never ceased by prayer and gentle persuasion to try to bring him to conversion and reform.
In 383 he departed to Rome, secretly, lest his mother should prevent him from going to the big city.In Milan, Saint Augustine came under the influence of Saint Ambrose the bishop; he began to go to his sermons, not so much with an expectation of profiting by them as to gratify his curiosity and to enjoy the eloquence. He found that the discourses more learned than the heresies he adopted and began to read the New Testament.
Saint Augustine and his son Adeodatus were baptized by Saint Ambrose at Easter the following year in the presence of saint Monica. From that time, Saint Augustine went back to his native city, and lived for three years with his friends and shared a life of prayer, study and poverty. He had no idea of becoming a priest, but in 391 he was ordained as an assistant to Valerius, Bishop of Hippo. He was then consecrated bishop and succeeded him in the see of Hippo on his death soon after. Through his 35 years as a bishop of Hippo, Saint Augustine had to defend the faith against one heresy or another. Saint Augustine departed on August 28, 430, after having lived 76 years and spent almost 40 of them in the labors of the ministry.
May the prayers and intercessions of the great Saint Augustine be with us. Amen.