St. Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)

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North African theologian; Father and Doctor of the Church, born at Tagaste.

His mother was a Christian but, after studying at Carthage, he became a Manichaean. He taught rhetoric in Rome and in Milan, where he was attracted to Neoplatonism. However, under the influence of St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, he was finally converted to Christianity in 386. On his return to Africa, he lived as a monk until he was ordained at Hippo in 391. He became Bishop of Hippo in 396 and died there during a Vandal siege. His works are the most important and influential of those written by the early Fathers, especially The City of God, a defence of Christianity in 22 books, and his spiritual autobiography, The Confessions. His other writings include commentaries on the scriptures, sermons, letters, and treatises against the heresies Manichaeism, Donatism, and Pelagianism. He was most actively involved in the Pelagian controversy, in which he upheld the doctrines of original sin and divine grace.

Feast day: 28 Aug.
 
 

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