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Christian Saints

St. Augustine of Hippo


St. Augustine of Hippo, bishop and Doctor of the Church, the greatest theologian of the Roman Catholic Church. Born in 354 at Tagaste (Algeria) of a pagan father and a Christian mother, St. Monica, he was brought up as a Christian but was not baptized. He studied at the University of Carthage to become a lawyer, but then turned to philosophy. For nine years he was an adept of Manichaeis. He moved to Rome to teach rhetoric, then to Milan, where he met St. Ambrose and came under his influence. Augustine described his long inner conflict in Confessions. Augustine was converted and baptized by St. Ambrose himself in 386-7. He became a priest in 391 and Bishop of Hippo in 395. He left voluminous writings which have probably proved more influencial in the history of thought than any Christian writer since St. Paul. His most famous works are Confessions, De Trinitate and De Civitate Dei.
He died in 430 at Hippo having composed the De Civitate Dei (City of God) during the siege of the city by the Vandals.
St.Augustine is the patron saint of theologians and printers.
Feast day: August 28.

In fine art St. Augustine is often depicted in the company of a child or angel with a shell; from the 15th century with a transfixed or burning heart. The earliest surviving painting of him is in the Lateran library (a 6th century fresco).
Botticelli St. Augustine; Coronation of the Virgin with the Saints John the Evangelist, Augustine, Jerome and Eligius. (San Marco altarpiece); St. Augustine in the Cell.
Benozzo Gozzoli. Apsidal Chapel of Sant'Agostino in San Gimignano, Italy.
Fra Filippo Lippi Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels with St. Frediano and St. Augustine (The Barbadori Altarpiece), Vision of St. Augustine.
Masaccio St. Jerome and St. Augustine.
Piero della Francesca. St. Augustine.
Luca Signorelli. SS. Augustine, Catherine of Alexandria, and Anthony of Padua.
Simone Martini. The Miracle of the Child Falling from the Balcony.
Jacopo Robusti, called Tintoretto. Saint Augustine Healing the Lame.

The Miracle of the Child Falling from the Balcony. A miracle performed by St. Augustine, when he swooped from heaven to catch the baby before it landed on its head and restored him to the astonished neighbors.

Recommended reading:
The Book of Saints: The Lives of the Saints According to the Liturgical Calendar by George Angelini, Victor Hoagland (Editor). Regina Press, 1986.
Augustine of Hippo: A Biography, Revised Edition with a New Epilogue by Peter Robert Lamont Brown. University of California Press, 2000.
The Confessions by Henry Chadwick (Translator), St. Augustine. Oxford University Press, 1991.
The City of God by Saint Augustine, Augustine, Thomas Merton (Illustrator). Modern Library, 1994.
The Cambridge Companion to Augustine by Eleonore Stump (Editor), Norman Kretzmann (Editor). Cambridge University Press, 2001.
The Trinity by Saint Augustine of Hippo, Edmund Hill (Translator). New City Press, 1991.
The Place of Blessed Augustine in the Orthodox Church by Fr. Seraphim Rose. Saint Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1997.

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