In Christian church history there are representative characters who have served as an example of honest life and their efforts in the study of Christianity and its moral philosophy. Saint Augustine of Hippo is one of these great figures of Christianity, recognized by the Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Eastern churches as the "Doctor of Grace" or "Doctor of the Christian Church" thanks to his valuable contributions in philosophy and theology.
Birthplace: Tagaste, Algeria
When he died: 28/08/430
Where did he die: Hippone, Algeria
Who was Saint Augustine of Hippo?
Saint Augustine of Hippo was the most prominent thinker of Christianity and medieval philosophy until the 13th century. He is considered a saint, bishop, doctor of the Catholic Church and creator of the philosophical foundations of Christianity. In his life, Saint Augustine was a very prolific author, creating a great number of works with diverse themes. He is venerated by the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, the Protestant Church and the Oriental Churches, which celebrate their day on the 28th of August each
Saint Augustine of Hippo was born on November 13, 354 in Tagaste (now Algeria), a town in North Africa. His father was called Patricio and was of violent temperament unlike his mother Monica, who baptized him months before his father died.
Saint Augustine’s mother, Monica was recognized as St. Monica years later. She took care of raising Augustine, his brothers and sisters.
As a child, Augustine was admitted to the catechumenate and was always a seeker of truth. In his adolescence, he studied the philosophical currents before becoming part of the church.
Between the years 373 and 382, Saint Augustine of Hippo followed several philosophical currents such as epicureism, Manichaeism, skepticism and Platonism but never remained attached to the ideas of these, returning in the year 383 to Christianity again thanks to the teachings of the bishop of St. Ambrose of Milan.
In the year 391, Augustine was ordained as a priest and consecrated as bishop of Hippo in the year 395.
In the year 410, heresy threatens the Christian church and Saint Augustine of Hippo begins his theological battle, fighting the Manichean heresy, the Donatists and Pelagians. His written production related to classical Greek philosophy, Christianity and other subjects was very abundant generating Augustinian theories that formed part of the Catholic and Protestant theology of Christianity.
August 28th, in the year 430, Agustin died in Hippo, in the hands of the vandals of Genseric, who subdued the city of Hippo, which belonged to a Roman province of Africa.
Years later, Augustine’s body was sent to Sardinia and later to Pavia, Italy, in 725 to the basilica of San Pietro in Cield’Oro where it remains today.
The philosophical thought of Saint Augustine of Hippo is influenced by Platonic philosophy, which has much presence in his Christian philosophy.
According to Saint Augustine, man tends to happiness by nature and can only attain it through God, to be happy he needs reason and faith, as well as his intelligence and will.
For Saint Augustine, man is composed of body and soul. The body is formed by the four elements and the soul is endowed with memory, appetite and cognitive faculties. Likewise, man plays an important role in the history created by God in which there is a constant struggle between the earthly city, generated by selfish love, and the eternal city founded on Christian charity. According to Saint Augustine, this struggle will be won in the end by the city of God.
The works of Saint Augustine were of great importance throughout the Middle Ages and in the Modern Era, especially in philosophical and theological areas.
At present, the works of Saint Augustine are studied and discussed in depth in many schools of philosophy and theology of the world because of their richness in content and their way of understanding and explaining man, God and the nature of many things.
Confessions of Saint Augustine of Hippo
One of the most significant works of Saint Augustine of Hippo is called “Confessions“, which is made up of a series of thirteen autobiographical books of the Saint, written between the years 397 and 398.
The ethic of Saint Augustine of Hippo is religious because it is centered on God and the Happiness that comes from meeting him. It is also described as an ethic of love because this is the will that leads man to God, and it is only love that liberates man and brings him closer to the Creator.
Saint Augustine considers bad morals to be a distancing from God and causes man to turn away from good by doing bad deeds.
Like other Fathers of the Church, Saint Augustine believes that social ethics should punish the injustices of wealth and promote solidarity with the disadvantaged.
Works of Saint Augustine of Hippo
Saint Augustine was a character of numerous and admirable works. Among the main writings of this distinguished doctor of the church, the following can be mentioned: