Feast Days

St. Monica Feast Day – August 27

St Augustine Feast Day – August 28

St. Augustine, a Roman African, was born in 354 in Thagaste (present-day Algeria) to a pagan father named Patricius and a Christian mother named Monica. At the age of 11, Augustine was sent to school at Madaurus, where he became familiar with Latin literature, as well as pagan beliefs and practices. At age 17, he went to Carthage to continue his education in rhetoric. Although raised as a Christian, Augustine left the church to follow the Manichaean religion, much to the despair of his mother. As a youth Augustine lived hedonistic lifestyle and had a longtime affair with a young woman in Carthage from whom was born his son Adeodatus.

Although his mother constantly prayed for him to become a Christian, Augustine’s mind traveled from philosophy to philosophy until meeting Ambrose, the bishop of Milan, who had a great influence on Augustine.

In the summer of 386, after having read an account of the life of Saint Anthony of the Desert which greatly inspired him, Augustine underwent a profound personal conversion, which led him to convert to Christianity, abandon his career in rhetoric, quit his teaching position in Milan, give up any ideas of marriage, and devote himself entirely to serving God and to the practices of priesthood, which included celibacy. A key to this conversion was a childlike voice he heard telling him in a sing-song way, tolle, lege (“take up and read”). As he was contemplating what it meant, he returned to his house and picked up Paul’s Letter to the Romans, from which he read: “Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, in concupiscence.”

Augustine and his son Adeodatus were baptized by Ambrose at the Easter Vigil in 387 in Milan, and soon returned to Africa, where he sold his patrimony and gave the money to the poor. The only thing that Augustine kept was his house, which he used as a monastery. In 391 he was ordained a priest in Hippo and devoted himself to preaching. More than 350 of his sermons are preserved.