He was born in Thagaste in North Africa of a Berbers Family.
He was brought up a Christian by his mother, St. Monica, but left the Church early and spent a great deal of time searching for the truth. He tried the Manichean heresy. He delved into Neoplatonism, etc. He had a mistress by whom he had a son.
His mother kept praying for him and never gave up hope that he would one day be Baptised.
He went to Milan where he heard the great St. Ambrose preach. This was the time that he came back to Christianity and was Baptised in 387, he was 33 years old. His mother died shortly afterwards.
He was a brilliant man with a great intellect.
He went back to Africa to his hometown. He was elected bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years there as Pastor.
He was a prolific writer in both Philosophy and Theology.
Many classic statements of his have come down the ages to us.
‘Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient
And so new, late have I loved you!
Lo, you were within
But I outside, seeking there for you,
And upon the shapely things you have made.
I rushed headlong – I, misshapen
You were with me, but I was not with you
They held me back far from you,
Those things which would have no being,
Were they not in you’?
Another phrase is:
‘the human heart of its nature is Christian’
In other words, we are most who we are meant to be if we are Christians.
The story of St. Augustine has given so much hope to people that it is never too late, to convert, to change, to become a Saint.
As Augustine was dying, the ‘Vandals’, a group of ‘Barbarians’, were invading Hippo as part of the death of the Roman Empire in Western Europe
However, Augustine has lived on as an inspiration of hope for many!