at prayer

St. Augustine
St Augustine.
Feast Day 28 August: S'Arracó, Felanitx, Ca's Concos
Died. 430.

One of the most influential figures in the history of the Church. Theologian and philosopher responsible for the concepts of original sin, a just war and Papal supremacy. Writer of the first autobiography The Confessions, it is still read today. Indicative of the respect in which he is held is his additional title of St Augustine the Blessed or the Blessed St Augustine.

He led a hedonistic life and had a mistress for fifteen years who bore him a son. At his mother’s urgings he abandoned her to make a society marriage. Forced to wait two years for his bride to come of age, he promptly took up with another. It was at this time that he is reputed to have prayed,” Grant me chastity and continence but not yet” Shortly after this he had a divine revelation and decide to devote himself to the service of God and to embrace celibacy.

He became a famous preacher, leaving 350 sermons, all thought to be authentic. He wrote a Rule for his monastery and over one hundred other titles. He was of the opinion that the Bible should not be interpreted literally if it contradicted science and our God-given reason.

He died during the siege of Hippo, it is said at the very moment that the Vandals were tearing down the walls. His church and his library were left untouched and his body was later taken to Parvia in Northern Italy.