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St. Augustine of Hippo icon by Theophilia St. Augustine of Hippo icon by Theophilia
St. Augustine of Hippo icon
September 3rd, 2015
4.5 x 6 inches
Ink, watercolor, gold leaf


“You inspire us, O Lord, to delight in praising you,
because you have made us for yourself;
our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

~ Antiphon for the Feast of St. Augustine

“Late have I loved you,
O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
late have I loved you.
You called, you shouted
and you shattered my darkness.”

~ Antiphon for the Feast of St. Augustine

Here’s my icon of one of the greatest men and one of the most prolific geniuses in human history: the great Saint Augustine of Hippo! As Frank J. Sheed once wrote in a Foreward to the Confessions: “Every man living in the Western world would be a different man if Augustine had not been, or had been different.” Truly his impact on the world through his writings cannot be adequately measured. Not only was he a great saint, teacher, philosopher, writer, theologian, and bishop, but his story of conversion (told in his Confessions) remains one of the most beautiful, psychologically penetrating and influential stories of all time, and continues to impact readers to this day. I have here chosen to depict him as the Bishop of Hippo, with a miter, purple chasuble, bishop’s pallium, and crosier. In the Catholic Church, purple is the liturgical color symbolizing penitence and humility, as well as having associations with majesty and royalty, which I thought appropriate considering his own story of conversion and penitence and his rise to sanctity. On his crosier is a stylized church with rays emanating from it, symbolizing the Heavenly Jerusalem, as a reference to St. Augustine’s other great work The City of God. In one hand he holds a flaming heart, which is the symbol traditionally associated with him, indicating his great love for God. In the other hand he holds a gilded book of the Gospels and a quill-pen, showing both his role as a great Teacher of Christianity and to symbolize his own many written works defending the Faith.

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:+: A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF THE SAINT :+:

Saint Augustine of Hippo (November 13th 354 – August 28th 430 A.D.), or Aurelius Augustinus was born in the city of Tagaste in Roman North Africa to his parents Patricius and St. Monica. Both of his parents were relatively well-to-do Roman citizens. His father, Patricius, was an official in Tagaste and a pagan, who had married his mother when she was a young woman. St. Monica was a devout Christian, and spent a great deal of her time in prayer, alms-giving, and charitable deeds. These religious behaviors were a source of annoyance for her husband Patricius, but despite his violent temper, dissipated life, and adulterous affairs, he always held her in high regard and respect. Monica’s mother-in-law was also a source of grief because of the dissolute habits she shared with her son, though she was eventually won over by Monica’s patience and kindness. Monica and Patricius’s two other children who survived infancy were Perpetua and Navigius, and along with Augustine they were brought up in the well-to-do style of the time and were given the best education available. Patricius forbade Monica to baptize any of their children, which grieved her greatly. When Augustine was about seven years old, he fell gravely sick with an abdominal ailment, and Moncia begged to have her son baptized. However, the boy made a sudden recovery, and his baptism was put off.

Augustine was sent to school early on in life, and as a boy his greatest concern was to avoid being beaten at school, and he often prayed to God that he could avoid this humiliating punishment. He remarked in his Confessions that he “disliked learning and hated to be forced to it. But I was forced to it, so that good was done to me though it was not my doing.” He further remarked that he loved Latin poetry and literature, but hated Greek, and so he never learned it, mostly out of stubbornness towards his teachers because he was beaten so savagely when he was being forced to learn it. When he was about twelve, he was sent to school in Madaura, some nineteen miles south of Tagaste. There he studied grammar and rhetoric, and continued his studies in Latin literature and poetry. He was only there for three years when his parents were forced to fetch him back for lack of money. During his sixteenth year, he idled away his time in his parent’s house and began developing some of the vicious vices that would plague him for many more years to come. By this time, Patricius was a catechumen (one being instructed in the Faith before Baptism), but he was excited to see his son’s wild lusts getting out of hand because he wanted grandchildren. Looking back on this part of his youth, Augustine said that his father didn’t care so much about the health of his soul, only so long as he would grow up and make fine, eloquent speeches. His mother became alarmed at all of her son’s lustful exploits and she admonished him, though it had little effect on the boy. “Both my parents were unduly set upon the success of my studies, my father because he had practically no thought of [God] and only vain ambitions for me, my mother because she thought that the usual course of studies would be not only no hindrance to my coming to [God] but an actual help.” Recounting that he was essentially left to do as he pleased, he became more and more dissolute. During this time, the young Augustine and his friends went out at night and stole all the pears from a neighbor’s yard and then threw them all away for the fun of it. This incident made a great impression on him, for as he reflected on it later in life, he saw this incident of destructive vandalism as a display of pointless wickedness. The pears themselves were of bad quality and he himself had better pears, and when they had stolen all of them, they didn’t even eat them; they simply threw them to the pigs. It was this incident that caused Augustine to reflect on the nature of evil, saying: “the malice of the act was base and I loved it—that is to say I loved my own undoing, I loved the evil in me—not the thing for which I did the evil, simply the evil: my soul was depraved, and hurled itself down from security in [God] into utter destruction, seeking no profit from wickedness but only to be wicked.”

While he was sixteen, he was sent to Carthage for further study “where a cauldron of illicit loves leapt and boiled about me.” He further said that he “was not yet in love, but I was in love with love…and I did fall in love, simply from wanting to.” His father Patricius died after being baptized that same year. Augustine himself ended up taking a mistress and studied law in Carthage and became a leader in the School of Rhetoric. At eighteen, he read Cicero’s Hortensius which impacted his life dramatically. His ambitions to be a great orator suddenly seemed worthless and a great desire for Truth and immortal wisdom was conceived in his heart. It was then that he decided to study the Sacred Scriptures but his initial reaction towards them was less than favorable. He wrote: “they seemed to me unworthy to be compared with the majesty of Cicero. My conceit was repelled by their simplicity, and I had not the mind to penetrate into their depths. They were indeed of a nature to grow in Your little ones. But I could not bear to be a little one; I was only swollen with pride…” A year later he became embroiled in the Manichean sect in his search for truth and eventually became a Manichean Hearer. During this year, at the age of nineteen, his mistress bore him a son, whom they named Adeodatus. His mother Monica, meanwhile, was greatly distressed at her son’s going-ons. One night she had a vision in which she saw a youth who told her to be at peace and said “where you are, he is.” She took this as a vision from God and told Augustine about it. He interpreted it as meaning that she would become a Manichean, but she said, “No. For it was not said to me: ‘Where he is, you are’ but ‘Where you are, he is.’” He was deeply moved by this answer, but persisted in the Manichean sect. In desperation, Monica went to the bishop and begged him with tears to use arguments to refute her son’s errors, but the bishop refused, saying that the boy would not listen since the thrill of novelty of the heresy was still too influential over him. Nevertheless he told her to continue to pray for her son, and added that as a young child he himself had been raised as a Manichean and had read all of their writings and that he had found out for himself how erroneous their teachings were without the intervention of anyone else. Monica continued to persist in her entreaties, however, and the bishop finally replied in exasperation: “Go your way. As sure as you live, it is impossible that the son of these tears should perish.” She accepted the answer as a word from God and so left.

In 375, Augustine returned to his hometown of Tagaste at twenty-one as a teacher of grammar, literature, rhetoric and dialectic. During this time Augustine’s enchantment with the Manicheans began to wear off because he began to grow contemptuous of astrology and divination (something Manicheism relied heavily on). At this same time, a close childhood friend of his who had been a fellow student and whom Augustine had persuaded towards the Manichean heresy became deathly ill with a terrible fever. While unconscious, he was baptized, and when he recovered somewhat from the fever Augustine came back to laugh about it with him. At this, his friend grew indignant and replied that if Augustine wanted to remain his friend he would not mock his baptism into the Church. Augustine was convinced that he could persuade his friend back to Manicheism, but he relapsed into the same illness and died several days later. Augustine was heartbroken at the loss of his friend, later writing: “My heart was black with grief. Whatever I looked upon had the air of death. My native place was a prison-house and my home a strange unhappiness. The things we had done together became sheer torment without him. My eyes were restless looking for him, but he was not there. I hated all places because he was not in them…I became a great enigma to myself and I was forever asking my soul why it was sad and why it disquieted me so sorely. And my soul knew not what to answer me.” He couldn’t bear to be in his own hometown where everything reminded him of his friend so he decided to move back to Carthage along with two of his other friends Nebridius and Alypius.

While in Carthage he wrote a book called On the Beautiful and the Fitting (De Pulchro et Apto) and read Aristotle’s Ten Categories. In 383, at the age of twenty-eight, Augustine finally met the Manichean bishop Faustus, who was reputed to be very wise and learned. Augustine had many questions and doubts about the sect, so that he very much looked forward to discussing them with Faustus. However, when they finally did meet and speak at length about all of Augustine’s questions, Faustus failed to satisfy him on any point and so Augustine lost all of his confidence in the Manichees. After this, Augustine decided to leave Carthage and go to Rome, where greater honors and better pay were to be had. He had also heard that students in Rome were more diligent and well-behaved, and this finally persuaded him to go. Monica was greatly grieved at his going, begging him to either return home with her or allow her to accompany him to Rome. He lied to her by saying that he just wanted to see a good friend off, but instead took ship himself and so got away.

Once he arrived in Rome he became so ill that he almost died. He slowly recovered however, and eventually began teaching again, although meanwhile he was still plagued with his doubts about the Manicheans and looked to the philosophers of the Academic school for some light. While teaching rhetoric in Rome, he discovered that while the students were better behaved in the classroom, they also had a vicious habit of cheating their teachers of their pay. So when a request for a professor of rhetoric for the city of Milan was announced, Augustine applied for the post, and was accepted because of a public oration he had given for the occasion. He and his friends Nebridius and Alypius went to Milan and were received kindly and generously by St. Ambrose, the bishop of Milan. Augustine quickly became very attached to the bishop, first because of kindness towards him, and then later because of his eloquence and skill as an orator. Eventually Augustine found himself listening attentively to his sermons, and began to question whether the Catholic Faith might not be right after all. At last, because he could no longer belong to the Manicheans because he found their teachings ridiculous, and because he couldn’t go to the philosophers since they didn’t have Christ, he decided to become a catechumen in the Catholic Church and remain one until he could discover the Truth he had been searching for.

In 385, when he was twenty-nine, his mother Monica sailed to Milan to be with him. While there, she met St. Ambrose and became very devoted to him, for it was to him she ascribed her son’s abandonment of the Manichean heresy. With the learned and careful instruction of St. Ambrose, Augustine was soon able to overcome his contempt for the Sacred Scriptures, and began more seriously to embrace the teachings of the Church. At this time, however, Augustine began to earnestly wrestle with his own lack of chastity. His mother wanted him to get married, and as it was a good way to further his own prestige and career, he agreed. He was betrothed to a young maiden, though the marriage itself was put off until she would be a little older. Augustine liked her and so he agreed to wait. In the meantime, because he was to get married, his long-time mistress of fifteen years had to be sent away. He later wrote: “She with whom I had lived so long was torn from my side as a hindrance to my forthcoming marriage. My heart which had held her very dear was broken and wounded and shed blood. She went back to Africa, swearing that she would never know another man, and left me with the natural son I had had of her. But I in my unhappiness could not—for all my manhood—imitate her resolve. I was unable to bear the delay of two years which must pass before I was to get the girl I had asked for in marriage. In fact, it was not really marriage that I wanted. I was simply a slave to lust. So I took another woman, not of course as a wife…”

At thirty, he continued to grapple with his theological and philosophical obstacles to Catholicism and studied more earnestly to understand the nature of God, free will, and the origins of evil. Through the writings of Plato he began to grasp the eternity and spirituality of the Word, and finally made a study of the Word Made Flesh through the writings of Paul. Through Paul, he came to know Christ. Intellectually then, he was finally won over to the Catholic Faith. As he wrote: “I had now found the pearl of great price, and I ought to have sold all I had and bought it. But I hesitated still.” But Augustine still was held back from embracing the Faith because of his own disordered sexual passions. He eventually went to Simplicianus, the mentor of bishop Ambrose, and told him about all of his intellectual wanderings and errors, and where he currently stood, and how he had overcome many of his difficulties through the writings of the Platonists. When Simplicianus learned that Augustine had read the Platonists translated by a man named Victorinus—once the professor of Rhetoric in Rome—he went on to tell Augustine about Victorinus’ own conversion to Catholicism. This narrative filled Augustine with a great desire to imitate Victorinus, but he felt continually impeded by his own inability o give up his old lusts.

Sometime in the late August of 386, when Augustine was thirty-one, he and his friend Alypius were at home one day when an important official of the Emperor named Ponticianus arrived to discuss some business with them. They had sat down to talk the matter over, when Ponticianus noticed a book lying on the table, opened it, and discovered that it was the Apostle Paul. He expressed a happy surprise at seeing it there, and began to tell the two about the monk St. Anthony of Egypt. He went on further to tell them about how he and some fellow officials had been out taking a stroll when two of their number came across a book about the life of St. Anthony and immediately after reading it, they too decided to become monks and give their lives to God. While he listened to these stories, Augustine felt great self-disgust at his own cowardice, writing later: “But I in my great worthlessness…had begged You for chastity, saying ‘Grant me chastity, but not yet.’ For I was afraid that You would hear my prayer too soon, and too soon would heal me from the disease of lust which I wanted satisfied rather than extinguished.” Ponticianus finished telling his story, concluded his business with them and so departed.

But Augustine was in an inward agony. “What did I not say against myself, with what lashes of condemnation did I not scourge my soul to make it follow me now that I wanted to follow You! My soul hung back. It would not follow, yet found no excuse for not following. All its arguments had already been used and refuted. There remained only a trembling silence: for it feared as very death the cessation of that habit of which it was truly dying.” Finally he turned to Alypius and cried: “What is wrong with us? What is this that you have heard? The unlearned arise and take heaven by force, and here are we with all our learning, stuck fast in flesh and blood! Is there any shame in following because they have gone before us; would it not be a worse shame not to follow at once?” In mental agony and anguish he fled to a garden attached to the house with Alypius hot on his heels. While in the garden he struggled terribly within himself, trying to resolve to quit his lusts forever, and yet still hanging back, keeping him in a state of agonizing indecision and suspense. “Those trifles of all trifles, and vanities of vanities, my one-time mistresses, held me back, plucking at my garment of flesh and murmuring softly: ‘Are you sending us away?’…For the strong voice of habit said to me: ‘Do you think you can live without them?’” He imagined Chastity beckoning to him, smiling at him and encouraging him with the example of so many others who had chosen to give themselves wholly to God. Yet he still hung back. Meanwhile, Alypius sat near him all this time, anxious, but silent.

Finally, Augustine got up and threw himself down in another part of the garden under a fig tree where a storm of weeping overcame him. Inwardly he moaned: “How long, how long shall I go on saying tomorrow and again tomorrow? Why not now, why not have an end to my uncleanness this very hour?” He later recounted: “Such things I said, weeping in the bitter sorrow of my heart. And suddenly I heard a voice from some nearby house, a boy’s voice or a girl’s voice, I do not know: but it was a sort of sing-song, repeated again and again, ‘Take up and read, take up and read.’ I ceased weeping immediately and began to search my mind most carefully as to whether children were accustomed to chant these words in any kind of game, and I could not remember that I had ever heard any such thing. Damming back the flood of my tears I arose, interpreting the incident as quite certainly a divine command to open my book of Scripture and read the passage at which I should open. For it was part of what I had been told about Anthony, that from the Gospel which he happened upon he had felt that he was being admonished, as though what was being read was being spoken directly to him…So I was moved to return to the place where Alypius was sitting, for I had put down the Apostle’s book there when I arose. I snatched it up, opened it and in silence read the passage upon which my eyes first fell: “…not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy, but instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.” (Romans 13:13-14) I had no wish to read further, and no need. For in that instant, with the very ending of the sentence, it was as though a light of utter confidence shone in my heart, and all the darkness of uncertainty vanished away.”

Augustine related to Alypius all that had been going on inside of him, and Alypius told him that he had felt a similar turmoil of soul. Thus resolved to pursue a life of sanctity and chastity in giving their all to God, they both went into the house and told everything to Monica, who was overcome with joy at the news. From November of 387 to the following January, Augustine stayed at the villa of his friend Verecundus in Cassiciacum and there prepared for baptism. He was joined there by his mother Monica, and by Alypius and his son Adeodatus (who was about fourteen). While there, he wrote Against the Academics, On the Happy Life, On Order, and The Soliloquies. He returned to Milan by early January and wrote On the Immortality of the Soul.

On April 24th 387, during the Easter Vigil, Augustine was finally baptized into the Catholic Church, along with Alypius and Adeodatus in the cathedral of Milan. Augustine gave up his post as Professor of Rhetoric in Milan. That summer, they all finally went to the port of Ostia to take ship back home to North Africa. While they awaited the ship that was to take them back home, Monica became ill with a fever. Several days previously, she and Augustine had sat at a window sill, speaking of the things of heaven, and she had said, “Son, for my own part I no longer find joy in anything in this world. What I am still to do here and why I am here I know not, now that I no longer hope for anything from this world. One thing there was, for which I desired to remain still a little longer in this life, that I should see you a Catholic Christian before I died. This God has granted me in superabundance, in that I now see you His servant to the contempt of all worldly happiness. What then am I doing here?” During her illness, which quickly worsened, both Augustine and his brother Navigius waited at her bedside. She died nine days later, at the age of fifty-six. They buried her at Ostia. Augustine was filled with bitter grief at her passing, but was consoled by her holiness of life, and the holiness of her death. He and Adeodatus traveled back to Rome, but eventually set sail for Carthage and finally arrived home in North Africa in 388. While there, he wrote his On the Holiness of the Catholic Church. There, he converted his family estate into a kind of monastic retreat, where he and his friends pursued a life dedicated to study and learning. He  began writing other works, including: On Music, On Grammar, On Rhetoric, On Geometry, On Dialectic, On Arithmetic, On Philosophy, On the Magnitude of the Soul, and On Eighty-Three Varied Questions. His friend Nebridius, meanwhile, had become a Christian, but very soon afterwards fell sick and died. Soon afterwards, Adeodatus too, died, and Augustine mourned his death greatly. In his writings he praised his son, saying, “[Adeodatus’] great intelligence filled me with a kind of awe: and who but You could be the maker of things so wonderful? But You took him early from this earth, and I think of him utterly without anxiety, for there is nothing in his boyhood or youth or anywhere in him to cause me to fear.”

After his son’s death, Augustine sold all of his property—excepting the house—and gave all the proceeds to the poor. He continued writing various works, including, On the Teacher, On True Religion and On the Usefulness of Believing. In 391, he was ordained a priest by Valerius, the bishop of Hippo Regius. He became famous for his preaching, especially in his sermons against the Manichees, and he began to correspond with St. Jerome. He began writing his first Explanation of the Psalms and On the Two Souls, and later published a debate he had had with a Manichean called Debate with Fortunatus, a Manichee. He wrote much in the following years as well, including: On the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, Against Adimantus a Disciple of Manes, A Psalm against the Donatist Party, On Lying, On Christian Struggle, On Christian Doctrine, Against the So-Called Foundation Letter of the Manichees, Against Faustus the Manicee, and finally wrote his Confessions in 397, the same year in which St. Ambrose died. In 394, his friend Alypius was made bishop of Tagaste. In 395, at the age of forty-one, Augustine himself became coadjutor Bishop of Hippo along with Valerius. After the latter’s death, he was made sole Bishop of Hippo Regius, which he remained until his death.

After the Visigothic sack of Rome in 410—and event that utterly shook the Roman world—Augustine once again set pen to paper and wrote his great work The City of God in order to console the people of Rome and Christians throughout the Empire in the face of the momentous tragedy. He wrote the Rule of Saint Augustine for his sister’s monastery, and essentially lived the life of a monk while presiding over his diocese as bishop. He worked tirelessly, preached eloquently, wrote constantly, ate little, assisted in ecclesiastical councils, and managed the finances of his diocese ably and well. He fought against the Manichean, Donatist, Pelagian and Arian heresies all through his life, and carefully shepherded the souls in his care.

During the last years of his life, Augustine had to contend with the devastation caused by two warring political powers. The revolt of Count Boniface and the counter-measures brought against him by the Empress Placidia entailed the hiring of mercenary Germanic warriors (the Vandals and Goths) who laid waste to the countryside and killed many. Augustine tried to make peace between the two parties, and was successful. However, Genseric, the king of the Vandals, was not satisfied. In the spring of 430, the Arian Vandals invaded North Africa and besieged the city of Hippo Regius for eighteen months. Augustine encouraged the defenders and was a source of consolation to the people of Hippo, even miraculously healing a sick man. It was during the summer of this siege that Augustine fell gravely ill. He spent his last days in contemplation, prayer, and penitence. He asked for the seven penitential Psalms of David (Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143) to be hung up around his bed so that he could read and meditate upon them. He at last succumbed to the illness, and died on August 28th 430, at the age of seventy-five. He was buried at the cathedral of Hippo Regius in North Africa and was quickly acclaimed as a saint. Before his death, he had asked that the books in the cathedral library should be carefully maintained and preserved. After his death, the Vandals lifted the siege. They returned later, however, and burned everything in the city, except for Augustine’s cathedral and library. Augustine’s body was later moved to Cagliari in Sardinia, and then again moved around 720 to the Basilica of San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro (Saint Peter in the Golden Sky) in Pavia, Italy, where his relics remain to this day.

Along with Saints Gregory the Great, Ambrose, and Jerome, Augustine is considered to be one of the Great Western Fathers. In 1298 a decree issued by Pope Boniface VIII likewise honored St. Augustine with the title “Doctor of the Church” as one of the great Church Fathers and teachers of the Christian Faith, and he was further given the title of Doctor Gratiae (“Doctor of Grace”).

St. Augustine stands as one of the greatest giants and most prolific writers of human history. The influence his writings have had on Western civilization and Western thought cannot be understated. His prolific genius and his outstanding literary output includes an incredible body of work that ranges over a large variety of subjects. His writings include his most famous Confessions, The City of God, Retractations, some 270 surviving letters, a number of philosophical works (including Contra Academicos), tracts against the heresies of his day (Against the Manichaeans, Donatists, Pelagians, Semipelagians, Arians), Scriptural exegesis, numerous moral and theological expositions and writings (including De Trinitate and The Enchiridion), The Rule of St. Augustine (his rule for monastic life), some 363 sermons and homilies, and countless others. The following link has a number of his works ordered by the year when they were written:www.augnet.org/default.asp?ipa…

The Rule of St. Augustine (legacy.fordham.edu/halsall/sou…)—along with the Rule of St. Benedict—was the basis for monastic life in the Middle Ages and even up to this day and age for numerous religious orders in the West, the chief ones being the Augustinians, the Dominicans, the Servites, Mercederians, and Norbertines, as well as some 150 other religious communities.

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“Urged to reflect upon myself, I entered under your guidance into the inmost depth of my soul. I was able to do so because you were my helper. On entering into myself I saw, as it were with the eye of the soul, what was beyond the eye of the soul, beyond my spirit: your immutable light. It was not the ordinary light perceptible to all flesh, nor was it merely something of greater magnitude but still essentially akin, shining more clearly and diffusing itself everywhere by its intensity. No, it was something entirely distinct, something altogether different from all these things; and it did not rest above my mind as oil on the surface of water, nor was it above me as heaven is above the earth. This light was above me because it had made me; I was below it because I was created by it. He who has come to know the truth knows this light.

O Eternal truth, true love and beloved eternity. You are my God. To you do I sigh day and night. When I first came to know you, you drew me to yourself so that I might see that there were things for me to see, but that I myself was not yet ready to see them. Meanwhile you overcame the weakness of my vision, sending forth most strongly the beams of your light, and I trembled at once with love and dread. I learned that I was in a region unlike yours and far distant from you, and I thought I heard your voice from on high: “I am the food of grown men; grow then, and you will feed on me. Nor will you change me into yourself like bodily food, but you will be changed into me.”

I sought a way to gain the strength which I needed to enjoy you. But I did not find it until I embraced the mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who is above all, God blessed for ever. He was calling me and saying: I am the Way of Truth, I am the Life. He was offering the food which I lacked the strength to take, the food he had mingled with our flesh. For the Word became flesh, that your wisdom, by which you created all things, might provide milk for us children.

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”
~ from The Confessions by St. Augustine of Hippo

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“O Truth, you are the light of my heart.
Let your light speak to me, not my own darkness.
I went astray, but I remembered you
and now I return longing and thirsting for your fountain.
I myself cannot give life.
Of myself I have live wrongly;
in you I have found life again.”

~ Responsory for the Feast of St. Augustine

:rose: The Feast of St. Augustine of Hippo is celebrated on August 28th. :rose:

St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron saint of theologians, students, printers, teachers, and brewers.

Renew in your Church, we pray, O Lord,
the spirit with which you endowed
your Bishop Saint Augustine
that, filled with the same spirit,
we may thirst for you,
the sole fount of true wisdom,
and seek you, the author of heavenly love.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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DrSalimR Featured By Owner Edited Mar 20, 2017
My lovely Augustine ❤❤
I was born on his feast day and ever since his shadow never left me!
Thankyou for this truly amazing masterpiece!
I recommand you to try portraying St Veronica Guiliani .. another giant in sainthood!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much! :D I love St. Augustine too!
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:iconsudynim:
sudynim Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2017
I love this! Not sure what it is, maybe the eyes and jaw line but this depiction, to me, resembles John Travolta. :D
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Haha. :XD: I can't say he was a reference, but I think I can see what you mean. :XD:
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:icondiscipleofthedumbox:
discipleofthedumbox Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2016
Magnificent work!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!!!!
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:iconraubritter:
Raubritter Featured By Owner May 8, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Could you send me a digital file of this image? it would be for a special exhibition in a former monastery of the Salesian order, and my task is to design a touchscreen module about the former St. Augustine order.... I could really need this image for an illustration in that module, I could give your real name as reference as well... Got interest?
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner May 13, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Perhaps a small one, but I'm usually reluctant to send people digital files of my work (for obvious copyright protection issues). You can send me an e-mail about it though with further details about the exhibition and I might consider it.
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:iconraubritter:
Raubritter Featured By Owner May 21, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It was refused of my superiors anyways, had to use that boring historical one :( But thanks for your help anyways!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner May 21, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Alrighty, well thanks for asking in any case!
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:iconmdeaaaaa:
mdeaaaaa Featured By Owner Edited Jan 20, 2016
That's incredible! I never knew that much about St. Augustine before. I love that you include little bios with all your icons of saints. On a website with so much... er... less-than-saintly stuff on it, it sure is refreshing to see your posts. St Augustine would be proud. Beautiful and spiritually uplifting. Thank you. Dancehug 
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank YOU! I'm very happy to hear that! I probably ended up spending more time writing the description than actually working on the icon! :XD: 
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:iconvirlandopf:
VirlandoPF Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I believe that I got job with his intercession :D
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome! :D
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:iconmatejcadil:
MatejCadil Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Beautiful! :-)
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks!
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:iconbohemianbeachcomber:
BohemianBeachcomber Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful!  :clap:  I have yet to tackle the Confessions, but I already know it's a winner!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! :glomp: :dance: Oh definitely! It's a fabulous book! I feel like I quoted about half of it in my *cougnotsoshortcough* biography description. 
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:iconbohemianbeachcomber:
BohemianBeachcomber Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
:hug:
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:iconladyoftheapocalypse:
LadyoftheApocalypse Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful, beautiful!Clap Clap Clap Clap 
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!!! :boogie:
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:iconundevicesimus:
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2015   Artist
Although I no longer identify as a Christian, I nonetheless have immense respect for Saint Augustine and his great works. You made a truly amazing depiction of him, accompanied by a very well written overview of his life and works. Keep up the good work!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much!!! :meow: Hahah, in all honesty, it might have taken me longer to write his "biography" than to actually make the icon. :XD:
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:iconundevicesimus:
Undevicesimus Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2015   Artist
Well you did a really great job on both! Reading about saints' lives is very interesting, so the bio's add a whole extra dimension to the icons you make ^^
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:meow:
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:iconshortpencilstudios:
shortpencilstudios Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2015  Professional
:jawdrop: Very pretty!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!
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:iconshortpencilstudios:
shortpencilstudios Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2015  Professional
You're welcome.
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:icondagokrakus:
DagoKrakus Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Beautifull Icon this time Heart  ^^ :) +
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks!!! :dance:
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:icondagokrakus:
DagoKrakus Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
:)
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:iconholyartsalchemist:
HolyArtsAlchemist Featured By Owner Edited Nov 20, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
He looks amazing. The man sounded like an amazing devout Christian. I can relate to his troubles somewhat since I had to overcome the sexual drive caused by my hormones.
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
THANK YOU!! he was certainly an amazing man. If I could be half the person he was I think I should die well contented. :D
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:iconholyartsalchemist:
HolyArtsAlchemist Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I would think so.
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:iconmandinga91:
Mandinga91 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
this is one of my favorite and most beloved saints...thanks for creating this icon! God bless you!!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank YOU! :aww: He is one of the most influential saints of all time so I figured I'd have to make an icon of him. And he's just amazing. That too. :D

God bless you too! :glomp:
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:icondcjbeers:
DCJBeers Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2015
Lovely work!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks!
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:icondcjbeers:
DCJBeers Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2015
More that welcome!Love 
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:iconmethowwolf:
methowwolf Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hippo? Oh, dear Lord, that's amazing. XD
Beautiful icon.
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hahaha, yes, Hippo Regius to be exact but I think common usage just shortened it to "Hippo." :D

Thank you!
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:iconmethowwolf:
methowwolf Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome!
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:icongryffgirl:
Gryffgirl Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2015
One of my favorite saints, and also one of my favorite writers!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! Definitely an amazing man! I still haven't read his City of God (though it's on my "To-Read list) but I loved his Confessions. He has some really beautiful homilies too. :nod:
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