“Too late have I loved you, O Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Too late I loved you! And behold, you were within, and I abroad, and there I searched for you; I was deformed, plunging amid those fair forms, which you had made. You were with me, but I was not with you. Things held me far from you—things which, if they were not in you, were not at all. You called, and shouted, and burst my deafness. You flashed and shone, and scattered my blindness. You breathed odors and I drew in breath—and I pant for you. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I burned for your peace”
St. Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
Augustine was born on November 13, 354 in Tagaste, now Souk-Ahras, Algeria. His mother was Saint Monica, a devout Christian; his father was a pagan who converted on his death bed. In 370 he traveled to the University at Carthage to study rhetoric. Gradually abandoning his Christian faith, Augustine had an affair with a woman with whom he lived fifteen years and who bore him a son, Adeodatus, in 372.
Through the prayers of his holy mother and preaching of St. Ambrose, Augustine finally became convinced that Christianity was the one true religion. He was baptized on Easter Eve in 387. On the death of his mother, he returned to Africa, sold his property, and gave the proceeds to the poor. He was ordained in 390 and moved to Hippo where he established a community with several of his friends who had followed him. Five years later he was consecrated Bishop and the following year became the Bishop of Hippo.
Augustine became the dominant figure in African Church affairs and greatly influenced the thought of Western Christianity. He wrote profusely, with Confessions and City of God among his best best-known works. Called Doctor of Grace, he is one of the greatest of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. His feast day is August 28th.