Saint Augustine, 354–430
Augustine had a Christian mother and a pagan father. His mother wanted him to be baptized, but he studied many other ideas before he became a Christian. He became a monk and a priest and later was the bishop of Hippo, a city near his hometown in North Africa. Saint Augustine was a great teacher and writer. He tells us that everyone longs to love God, and we will never be happy until we know God. One of his prayers to God begins, “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
Discuss: How is having a restless heart like being homesick when you are away?
Saint Augustine’s mother Monica is also recognized as a Saint. He is the patron of brewers, printers, and theologians. Because of the influence Augustine would have, his conversion is called one of the most important events in Church history. It is said to have happened in a garden under a fig tree.
Saint Augustine is considered a Doctor of the Church. He was the bishop of Hippo for over thirty years. He wrote 113 books, over two hundred letters, and five hundred sermons! Two of his most important works are Confessions and City of God.
Explain that Saint Augustine described a longing for God that we all have. Help your child understand what longing means.