Saint Augustine of Hippo is one of the great figures of history and one of the great saints of the Catholic Church. Even though he was born in 354 AD in Algeria, Africa, he continues to connect with people today through his inspiring writings, such as ‘The City of God’ and his compelling life story ‘The Confessions of St. Augustine’.
Saint Augustine famously said that we are restless until we rest in God and the discovery of his life is that true happiness can only be found in God.Read more
Saint Augustine believed that in this world two things are essential: life and friendship.Read more
In the year 397, Augustine wrote a rule of common life for lay Christians where he shares a model for Christian community.Read more
Saint Augustine believed that prayer should constantly flow through the life of a Christian, expressing our constant desire for God.Read more
In his famous autobiography, ‘The Confessions of St. Augustine’, Augustine recalls his life in a long prayer to God. He tells his story with great honesty and vulnerability, sharing openly about the sexual promiscuity and careerism that led to his experience of great emptiness and disappointment. He wrote, ‘I had become a great enigma to myself.’
This led Augustine to his great search for true meaning and happiness. Eventually, the people in his life, his experiences and his great intelligence led him towards conversion.
This caused him to make some major changes to his life and he broke up with his partner of fourteen years, with whom he had a son. He was badly hurt by this that he questioned his direction in life. 'My heart was torn and wounded and trailing blood'.
It was in hitting rock bottom and experiencing total emotional and spiritual breakdown that Augustine was able to surrender himself to God. In letting go, God could finally take over.
Augustine realised that it was only in the person of Jesus Christ that he would find the peace he so desperately sought. He searched inside himself and discovered that God dwelt within. ‘I travelled far from myself, Lord, but you remained within me.’ Augustine had searched for happiness everywhere, except in the one place where it would be found, deep within himself.
Many people feel a connection to Augustine because many of his troubles are our own. However, as well as the story of his life, Augustine also left us a guide by which to live, his ‘Rule’.
As Augustinian Friars, we live together in community, inspired by Saint Augustine’s rule of life, working to help the restless to find happiness in God.