Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Augustine St

Augustine, St. Aurelius Augustinus, the most eminent father of the Latin Church, was the son of a Pagan father, and a Christian mother, Monica. He was born at Tagaste in Numidia in 364 A.D. Though he received a good education, his youth was spent in dissipation, from which his pious mother vainly tried to dissuade him. In 371 he was sent to Carthage, where he is said to have given up his immorality after reading Cicero's Hortensius, and to have attached himself to the Manichaean sect. He taught rhetoric there till 383, when he went to Rome and lectured with great success. Settling a few years later in Milan he was converted and baptised by St. Ambrose in 387. Returning to Africa he was ordained by Valerius, Bishop of Hippo, in 391, and became that bishop's coadjutor and ultimate successor in 395. Here he spent the rest of his life in the zealous discharge of his duties, training youths for the priesthood, denying himself for the sake of the poor, and composing the great works which served as a basis for scholastic theology. He wrote much in opposition to the doctrines of the Manichaeans, Pelagians, and Donatists. His own views were dogmatically stern, for he denied. all future hope to those who did not share through Christ in divine grace. But to his personal opponents, saving the Donatists, he was gentle and courteous. By far the most interesting of his many works are the Confessions and Retractations. In the first he gives a history of his early life; in the last he manfully reviews his writings and opinions, withdrawing everything that his maturer judgment rejected. His greatest production, De Civitate Dei, on which he spent thirteen years, contains an elaborate confutation of Paganism, and an eloquent proclamation of the reign of Christ. Besides these he left commentaries on the Psalms, on St. John's Gospel, treatises on Grace and Free Will, on the Creed, on True Religion, and on various controversial topics, with soliloquies, sermons, and homilies, letters amounting to several hundreds. His style is rugged but powerful, and is marked constantly by touches of simple tenderness and pathos. He seizes on the ethical and dialectical side of questions under discussion, and brings to bear on them spiritualised common-sense rather than erudition or authority. He died in 430 whilst the Vandals were besieging Hippo, escaping thus the horrors that attended the capture of the city.