By Kelly Legg
A canonized saint honored as special protector is known as a patron saint. A patron saint may also be a benefactor of persons in a certain occupation or a guardian of those who bear the saint’s name. A patron saint may be invoked to intercede with God for help in a time of special need.
This month we are learning some interesting history about St. Augustine. He was born in 354 in what is now Souk Ahras, Algeria in Africa. His mother was a devout Christian, while his father Patricius was a pagan who converted to Christianity on his deathbed.
St. Augustine’s autobiography titled Confessions gives insight to his less than virtuous youth. He indulged in beer, parties and women. Eventually his mother, St. Monica, convinced him to change his ways and he was finally baptized.
Due to his former association with alcohol, St. Augustine is associated as the Patron of Beer Brewers.
Because of his conversion, he is an inspiration to many who struggle with a particular vice or habit they long to break.
St. Augustine is often thought of as one of the most intelligent men who ever lived and though he had been brought up a Christian, his sins of impurity continually played a role in his life. When he finally became aware of his need to lead a Christian life, he resisted for quite some time because he thought he could never live a pure life.
After St. Augustine was baptized, he became a priest, a bishop, a famous Catholic writer, founder of religious priests and one of the greatest saints that ever lived. St. Augustine overcame his unchristian life and then practiced great poverty and supported the poor. His holy life certainly made up for the sins he committed before his conversion.
He studied law in Rome and Milan and opened a school of rhetoric, preaching every day. He also never stopped writing and authored 232 books throughout the course of his life, many which are still read today.
Stay tuned for next month’s saint: St. Nicholas.