Saint Augustine Essay

865 words - 3 pages


Saint Augustine was born on 354 CE in Tagaste, Africa.

His given name was Aurelius Augustinus. His father was

Patricius, a pagan who was baptized Christian before he

died, and his mother was Monica, a baptized Christian with

an influential role in the life of her son. Augustine is

regarded as one of the most intelligent Christian theologians

and bishops of all time. His works and actions have left a

major imprint on the Church and its doctrine.

As a boy, Augustine was not baptized and grew up in the

Roman Empire. He studied under the local schoolmasters

in Tagaste until he turned fifteen and moved to continue his

studies in Madaurus. From Madaurus, he moved to

Carthage for advanced studies in rhetoric and law. It was in

Carthage that he took a concubine and later had a son

named Adeodatus from her. It was in this period of his life

that embraced Manichaeism, which is a belief that one god

is responsible for all good and another responsible for all

evil. Augustine’s belief in Manichaeism prompted Monica,

his mother, not to allow his entrance into the family’s house.

Even with her actions, she continued praying and hoping

that Augustine would find the Lord. After he ended his

studies in Carthage, he became a teacher and was

constantly on the move throughout Northern Africa.

Augustine stopped teaching and moved to Milan where he

gained the position of Public Orator. In Milan, Augustine

met Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan. Augustine grew to love

Ambrose’s allegorical interpretations of the Bible and this

led to his appreciation and new understanding of the

Scripture. He also studied and learned to appreciate

Plato’s works and started linking a lot of his works into the

meaning and messages in the Bible. Augustine’s family,

including his mother, joined him in Milan. Her constant

prayers for his conversion to Christianity and the strict

ethical demands of Ambrose made Augustine’s

appreciation of Plato’s work grew deeper. It made him no

choice, but to convert to Christianity. On Easter Sunday of

387 CE in Milan, Augustine along with his son and his

friend, Alypius, were baptized by Ambrose.

After Augustine’s mother passed away, he traveled

throughout the Roman Empire. He wrote many of his

books on theology along the way. He had no aspirations of

priesthood, but through a mere chance visit at Hippo in

Africa; the bishop Valerius needed a parish priest.

Augustine appeared to be the best candidate, and in 391

CE, he was ordained. Augustine’s model for his ministry

was St. Paul and he found St. Paul as a mentor. In Hippo,

he set up a monastery for the sake of training new priests.

With Augustine’s many contributions to Hippo, Bishop

Valerius requested Augustine to become his Co-adjutire. A

year later, Valerius passed away and Augustine became the

Bishop of Hippo.

While Augustine was bishop, he wrote some of his greatest

works, which still survive today. The first of these is

Confessions, where he...

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