Who Was Saint Augustine?

Written by on March 18, 2020 in Spirituality and Religion with 1 Comment
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The Conversion of St. Augustine by Fra Angelico

If you love to learn about saints, chances are you’ve heard of Saint Augustine. However, you may not know very much about the man. Saint Augustine of Hippo is known as being one of the most significant Christian thinkers who created a very special theological system.  However, there was much more to the man and this article will help you to understand even more about him.

Manichaeism, Neoplatonism, and Christianity

Saint Augustine was a Roman African who write books that helped to influence the western church, and ultimately, all of western Christianity. Originally drawn to Manichaeism which was a major religion in Iran, Saint Augustine also veered towards Neoplatonism before converting to Christianity in the year 386. Once he had converted to Christianity, Augustine began to develop a unique approach to both theology and philosophy.

The Grace of God

Saint Augustine believed that the grace of God was ultimately indispensable to humanity and its freedoms. After he realized his beliefs, Augustine helped to formulate the notion of original sin. He also made a few contributions to just war theory. This is a theory that suggests war is justifiable from a moral perspective.

Augustine was recognized as a saint not just in the Catholic church but the Anglican communion, and the Eastern Orthodox church.

Did you Know?

Did you know that Saint Augustine is the patron saint of theologians, printers, and brewers?  He is also called upon when someone has sore eyes as it’s thought he could help to heal them.

The Works of Saint Augustine

The Works of Saint Augustine contain many different titles, as much as 100. Some of the works apologetic, which means the defended Saint Augustine’s faith. Augustine also wrote exegetical texts which commented on letters, sermons, and some of the books in the bible.

Saint Augustine is primarily known for his autobiographical work which consists of 13 books. Each of these books were written in Latin sometime between the years 397 and 400. These books are known as “Confessions”. Other famous works include De civitate Dei, which consists of almost two dozen books, aiming to restore the confidence of his fellow Christians.

The Conversion of Hippo

Saint Augustine is thought to have worked very hard to convert the people of Hippo to Christianity. While he no longer lived in the monastery he lead a monastic life. When he had left the regula for the monastery it was the start of him being made the patron saint of regular clergy.

Sainthood

Saint Augustine was canonized in 1298 by Pope Boniface VIII. His canonization took place many years after his death in august 430. It is said that Saint Augustine, before his death, spent many days praying and repenting. He also requested that the Psalms of David were hung on his wall so he could read them. After his death, the siege of Hippo that had been taking place began to end. The vandals left the city for a short while, only to return and burn everything apart form Saint Augustine’s library and cathedral.

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  1. TheMysticMark says:

    Just from reading that whole thing, I pictured St. Augustine as part of the problem of religion during that time. Converting people to Christianity? Working to justify war from a moral perspective, probably so that people would participate in it without fear that they would “go to hell”. This guy was merely doing the work of the religion, not the people. By going down the path of mysticism, I have learned one thing – in order to see the truth of this world, you have to break through the constructs of the past. Everything has been taught to us for a reason. For control, influence and corruption. We have been led to live our lives in a certain way and told false truths by people who claim to know more than the rest of us. Religion in general is a control mechanism. I do not need a group of power hungry old men telling me how my relationship with god should be. Now that I can see, I can say the whole thing is ridiculous. Love is the answer and it always has been. Why do I need these people to stand between God and myself, when God is found everywhere and in everything? To relinquish my power to them would be to deny myself of my divine birthright of being created from the same energy that was hurled across the universe at the damn of time.

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