Thought for the Day – 28 August – The Memorial of St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of Grace
A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience.
There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother, the instructions of Ambrose and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures, redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love.
Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent: politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism.
In his day, Augustine providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).
Augustine is still acclaimed (and condemned) in our day. He is a prophet for today, trumpeting the need to scrap escapisms and stand face-to-face with personal responsibility and dignity. (Fr Don Miller OFM – Saint of the Day)
St Augustine, our Father in Faith, pray for us now and at the hour of our death!
St Augustine, the Holy Trinity, the Child and the SeaShell
Today, 11 June 2017, on the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, we remember the legend of St Augustine and the Seashell.
Abraham Willaerts – St Augustine and the Child
The great Doctor of the Church St. Augustine of Hippo spent over 30 years working on his treatise De Trinitate [about the Holy Trinity], endeavouring to conceive an intelligible explanation for the mystery of the Trinity.
He was walking by the seashore one day contemplating and trying to understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity when he saw a small boy running back and forth from the water to a spot on the seashore. The boy was using a sea shell to carry the water from the ocean and place it into a small hole in the sand.
The Bishop of Hippo approached him and asked, “My boy, what are…
One Minute Reflection – 28 August – The Memorial of St Augustine (354-430) – Doctor of Grace
“Therefore, whosoever hears these words of mine and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.…” Matthew 7:24
REFLECTION – “If any one will piously and soberly consider the sermon which our Lord Jesus spoke on the mount, as we read it in the Gospel according to Matthew, I think that he will find in it, so far as regards the highest morals, a perfect standard of the Christian life: and this we do not rashly venture to promise but gather it from the very words of the Lord Himself.
For the sermon itself is brought to a close in such a way, that it is clear there are in it all the precepts which go to mould the life. … He has sufficiently indicated, as I think, that these sayings which He uttered on the mount so perfectly guide the life of those who may be willing to live according to them, that they may justly be compared to one building upon a rock.”...St Augustine (On the Sermon on the Mount)
PRAYER – Lord God, renew Your Church with he Spirit of wisdom and love which You gave to St Augustine. Lead us by that same Spirit, to seek You, the only fountain of true wisdom and the source of everlasting love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the Spirit, one God, forever and ever, St Augustine, pray for the Church and for us all, amen.
Our Morning Offering – August 28 – The Memorial of St Augustine (354-430) – Doctor of Grace
Only You! By ST AUGUSTINE
Lord Jesus, let me know myself and know You
and desire nothing save only You.
Let me hate myself and love You.
Let me do everything for the sake of You.
Let me humble myself and exalt You.
Let me think of nothing except You.
Let me die to myself and live in You.
Let me accept whatever happens as from You.
Let me banish self and follow You
and ever desire to follow You.
Let me fly from myself and take refuge in You,
That I may deserve to be defended by You.
Let me fear for myself.
Let me fear You
and let me be among those who are chosen by You.
Let me distrust myself and put my trust in You.
Let me be willing to obey for the sake of You.
Let me cling to nothing save only to You,
And let me be poor because of You.
Look upon me, that I may love You.
Call me that I may see You and for ever enjoy You.
Saint of the Day – 28 August – St Augustine (354-430) born Augustinus Aurelius (13 November 354 at Tagaste, Numidia, North Africa (Souk-Ahras, Algeria) – 28 August 430 at Hippo, North Africa) – Doctor of Grace and one of the original Four Fathers & Doctors of the Latin Church – Bishop, Theologian, Philosopher, Rhetoritician, Writer, Preacher, Teacher, Advisor, Reformer, Confessor, Apologist, Apostle of Charity. Patronages – of theologians, brewers, printers, 7 diocese, 7 cities, against sore eyes, against vermin. Attributes – Child; dove; pen; shell, pierced heart, holding book with a small church, bishop’s staff, mitre, flaming heart, an allusion to a passage in his Confessions.
Augustine was born in the year on 13 November in 354 AD in the municipium of Thagaste (now Souk Ahras, Algeria) in Roman Africa. His mother, Monica, was a devout Christian; his father Patricius was a Pagan who converted to Christianity on his deathbed. Scholars generally agree that Augustine and his family were Berbers, an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa but that they were heavily Romanized, speaking only Latin at home as a matter of pride and dignity. In his writings, Augustine leaves some information as to the consciousness of his African heritage. For example, he refers to Apuleius as “the most notorious of us Africans,” to Ponticianus as “a country man of ours, insofar as being African”and to Faustus of Mileve as “an African Gentleman.”
Augustine’s family name, Aurelius, suggests that his father’s ancestors were freedmen of the gens Aurelia given full Roman citizenship by the Edict of Caracalla in 212. Augustine’s family had been Roman, from a legal standpoint, for at least a century when he was born. It is assumed that his mother, Monica, was of Berber origin, on the basis of her name but as his family were an upper class of citizens known as honorable men, Augustine’s first language is likely to have been Latin.
Augustine Aurelius still unbaptised and burning for knowledge, he came under the influence of the Manicheans, which caused his mother intense sorrow. He left Africa for Rome, deceiving his mother, who was ever anxious to be near him. She prayed and wept. A bishop consoled her by observing that a son of so many tears would never be lost. Yet the evil spirit drove him constantly deeper into moral degeneracy, capitalising on his leaning toward pride and stubbornness. Grace was playing a waiting game; there still was time and the greater the depths into which the evil spirit plunged its fledgling, the stronger would be the reaction.
Augustine recognised this vacuum; he saw how the human heart is created with a great abyss; the earthly satisfactions that can be thrown into it are no more than a handful of stones that hardly cover the bottom. And in that moment grace was able to break through: Restless is the heart until it rests in God. The tears of his mother, the sanctity of Milan’s Bishop Ambrose, the book of St Anthony the hermit and the sacred Scriptures wrought his conversion, which was sealed by baptism on Easter night 387. Augustine’s mother went to Milan with joy and witnessed her son’s baptism. It was what it should have been, the greatest event of his life, his conversion — metanoia. Grace had conquered. Augustine accompanied his mother to Ostia, where she died. She was eager to die, for now she had given birth to her son for the second time.
In 388 he returned to Tagaste, where he lived a common life of prayer and solitude with his friends. In 391 he was ordained priest at Hippo, in 394 made coadjutor to bishop Valerius and then from 396 to 430 bishop of Hippo.
Augustine, numbered among the four great Doctors of the Western Church, possessed one of the most penetrating minds of ancient Christendom. He was the most important Platonist of patristic times, the Church’s most influential theologian, especially with regard to clarifying the dogmas of the Trinity, grace and the Church. He was a great speaker, a prolific writer, a saint with an inexhaustible spirituality. His Confessions, a book appreciated in every age, describes a notable portion of his life (until 400), his errors, his battles, his profound religious observations. Famous too is his work The City of God, a worthy memorial to his genius, a philosophy of history. Most edifying are his homilies, especially those on the psalms and on the Gospel of St. John.
Augustine’s episcopal life was filled with mighty battles against heretics, over all of whom he triumphed. His most illustrious victory was that over Pelagius, who denied the necessity of grace; from this encounter he earned the surname “Doctor of grace.” As an emblem Christian art accords him a burning heart to symbolise the ardent love of God which permeates all his writings. He is the founder of canonical life in common; therefore Augustinian monks and the Hermits of St. Augustine honour him as their spiritual father.
As bishop, Augustine worked tirelessly for his people. He fought false religious teachings, protected the people from corrupt officials and invaders and cared for the sick, the poor and those in prison. His many sermons, letters and books reflect the ever-deepening love he felt for God. He wisely observed: “You have made us, O God, for yourself, and our hearts shall find no rest until they rest in you.”
He wrote and advised bishops, popes and councils. His influence on the Church and his fight against heresy were exceptional. He was loved by many, for he had struggled much and could help others who were struggling.
In 430 Vandals invaded the province. For three months Augustine inspired Christian hope in his people. According to Possidius, Augustine spent his final days in prayer and repentance, requesting that the penitential Psalms of David be hung on his walls so that he could read them. vv He directed that the library of the church in Hippo and all the books therein should be carefully preserved. He died on 28 August 430. Shortly after his death, the Vandals lifted the siege of Hippo but they returned not long thereafter and burned the city. They destroyed all of it but Augustine’s cathedral and library, which they left untouched.
St Bede’s True Martyrology, recounts that Augustine’s body was later translated or moved to Cagliari, Sardinia, by the Catholic bishops expelled from North Africa by Huneric. Around 720, his remains were transported again by Peter, bishop of Pavia and uncle of the Lombard king Liutprand, to the church of San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro in Pavia, in order to save them from frequent coastal raids by Muslims. In January 1327, Pope John XXII issued the papal bull Veneranda Santorum Patrum, in which he appointed the Augustinians guardians of the tomb of Augustine (called Arca), which was remade in 1362 and elaborately carved with bas-reliefs of scenes from Augustine’s life.
St Augustine of Hippo (Memorial) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAWJFbUYT_w
Bl Adelindis of Buchau
St Agnes of Cologne
St Alexander of Constantinople
Bl Alfons Maria Mazurek
St Ambrose of Saintes
Bl Angelo da Pesche d’Isernia
St Anthes of Salerno
Bl Charles-Arnold Hanus
St Edmund Arrowsmith
St Facundinus of Taino
St Felix of Venosa
St Fortunatus of Salerno
St Gaius of Salerno
St Gorman of Schleswig
Bl Henry Webley
St Hermes of Rome
Bl Hugh More
Bl James Claxton
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St Joaquina Vedruna de Mas
St Julian of Auvergne
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St Rumwold the Prince
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Bl William Dean
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Martyrs of Griñon – 10 beati
Martyrs of Tarragona – 6 beati
• Blessed Agustín Bermejo Miranda
• Blessed Alejandro Iñiguez De Heredia Alzola
• Blessed Andrés Merino Báscones
• Blessed Antonio Solá Garriga
• Blessed Arturo Ros Montalt
• Blessed Aurelio da Vinalesa
• Blessed Celestino Ruiz Alegre
• Blessed Cesáreo España Ortiz
• Blessed Eladi Peres Bori
• Blessed Evencio Castellanos López
• Blessed Francisco López Navarette
• Blessed Germán Arribas y Arribas
• Blessed Graciliano Ortega Narganes
• Blessed Isidre Fábregas Gils
• Blessed Jaume Tarragó Iglesias
• Blessed Javier Pradas Vidal
• Blessed Joan Tomás Gibert
• Blessed Joaquim Oliveras Puljarás
• Blessed José Gorastazu Labayen
• Blessed Josep Camprubí Corrubí
• Blessed Juan Bautista Faubel Cano
• Blessed Lázaro Ruiz Peral
• Blessed Manoel José Sousa de Sousa
• Blessed Modest Godo Buscato
• Blessed Modest Pamplona Falguera
• Blessed Nicolás Rueda Barriocanal
• Blessed Serviliano Solá Jiménez
• Blessed Teodoro Pérez Gómez