Skip to comments.Pope Receives Relics of St. Augustine
Posted on 11/12/2004 2:16:20 PM PST by NYer
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Marking the 1650th anniversary of the birth of their patron, the Augustinians have brought the relics of St. Augustine to Rome making several stops, including the Pope's private chapel.
John Paul II received the relics of the bishop of Hippo, philosopher and theologian on Thursday.
The urn containing the relics had made a previous stop at the Patristic Institute Augustinianum, center dedicated to Christian antiquity and early Church theologians, located next to St. Peter's Square.
It is the first time that St. Augustine's relics are in Rome. They were brought from Pavia, at the initiative of the Italian province of the Augustinians in union with the order's general chapter. St. Augustine's relics will be in Rome until Nov. 15.
Special celebrations are planned every day around the relics.
St. Augustine was born on Nov. 13, 354 in today's Algeria in northern Africa. He is regarded as one of the greatest thinkers of all times. After a morally and doctrinally disordered youth, he was converted while in Milan and baptized in 387 by the city's bishop, St. Ambrose.
After returning to his homeland, Augustine was elected bishop of Hippo, a ministry he exercised for 34 years, making a decisive contribution to the study of the Christian faith and the clarification of the doctrinal errors of his time. He died in the year 430.
Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in you.
It is impossible to post a thread on this great saint without mentioning his mother, St. Monica, who prayed unceasingly for his 'conversion'. For all mothers who seek to bring their children to God!
Death of St. Monica
St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, was born, probably, at Thagaste in Numidia, where she married and lived the greater part of her life. She was of Berber stock and her name is Berber. Practically everything we know of her life comes from her son's writings, particularly Book IX of his Confessions. She was well, but rather strictly, brought up by the old nurse of the family, who, among other things, would never allow her to drink between meals. Perhaps in reaction from this she developed the habit of taking unauthorized drinks, which grew larger as time went on, when she was sent by her parents to draw wine from the barrel; but when one of the household slaves taunted her with being a drunkard she was ashamed and gave it up. She was married young to Patricius, a short-tempered, but by no means bad or unlikeable, man, with an old mother who was at first violently hostile to her. She managed both husband and mother-in-law excellently, so that the old lady was completely won over and St. Monica, unlike many of her married friends and neighbors whose husbands were supposed to be better tempered, never had any marks of ill treatment from her husband to show; her own account of the matter was that Patricius kept his hands off her because she kept his tongue off him.
Her relationship to her brilliant son was a miracle of perseverance and unwearying affection. She probably never fully understood his intellectual difficulties and vagaries, and was profoundly distressed by his Manichaeism. Augustine, on his side, during his Manichaean period, seems to have found his mother, with her uncompromising Catholicism, rather a nuisance: at any rate, when she decided to accompany him to Rome (Patricius had died some years before, leaving her free to devote herself to her son) he gave her the slip and went off without her. But she followed and caught him up in Milan, where she found to her joy that he was no longer a Manichee: from this time onward they were on the best of terms. She soon came to know St. Ambrose, who had the highest regard for her, and she for him. He even persuaded her to give up some of her North African pieties of which he disapproved or which were not in accordance with Milanese custom, such as holy picnics at the graves of the martyrs and fasting on Saturdays.
At last in 386 she had the supreme joy of seeing her son's conversion, which he himself attributed to her prayers and tears more than to any other human agency. She shared his retreat at Cassiciacum, and was present at his baptism by St. Ambrose. Then, in 387, she started back for Africa with St. Augustine and his friends. At Ostia she shared with her son that great exaltation of spirit of which he tells in the tenth chapter of Book IX of his Confessions: as they talked about the life of heaven, he says, they were raised in thought above all created things; they entered into their own minds and passed them, and came at last to touch directly, for a moment, the eternal Wisdom and Word of God. After this St. Monica said, 'My son, for my part, I have no more pleasure in anything in this life. I do not know what I am still to do and why I am here, now my hope in this world is finished. There was one thing because of which I wanted to stay a little while in this life, to see you a Catholic Christian before I died. God has given me this and much more, in letting me see you despise earthly happiness and devote yourself to his service. What am I doing here?" Soon after, she fell ill and died at Ostia, at the age of fifty-six.
She had always been very anxious to be buried with her husband, but now when she was asked if she would mind leaving her body so far from her native city, she answered, 'Nothing is far from God; and there is no fear that he will not know where to raise me up from at the end of the world.' And her last words to her son were, 'Lay this body anywhere; don't worry about that. I only ask you to remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be.' St. Augustine certainly never forgot her; nor will anyone who has read about her in his Confessions. She was buried in Ostia. Her body is supposed to have been translated to Rome in 1430, and to be now in the church of St. Agostino.
I highly recommend his City of God. I didn't read it cover to cover-- it's a big tome. Just pick it up and start thumbing the pages. There are lots of interesting bits. Really good stuff.
Lets hope they stay with the Catholic Church, unlike those other things that were given back to the Orthodox.
Whatever became of his child? Is it known? How sad to be the son of such an incredible force, and hardly ever mentioned.
I read the whole thing. It took a while but it is a great book that gives insight to the early Church and really proves the point that the Catholic Church's core values, beliefs and traditions haven't changed over the centuries.
I didn't know that, so thanks. What a beautiful name, Adeoatus is. I know it means gift of God, but so does Theodore. Are they basically the same name?
shouldn't this thread be a grpl ping???
This is horrible.
Un necessary comment , un necessary picture, .
August 28, 2007
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 Augustines 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 decadentpolitically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism.
In his day, he 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).