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Augustine of Hippo: The Saint Revered by Protestants

St. Augustine of Hippo

Augustine was born into a family of mixed pagans and believers in AD 354 in Algeria, North Africa. His father was a heathen, and his mother was a Catholic.

During his younger years, he embraced hedonism, the philosophy that holds that pleasure is the proper aim and the highest good of human life. 

He also became associated with young people who took pride in talking about their sexual exploits.

He followed different philosophers, embraced the eclectic Manichean faith, and then the Hellenistic philosophy of Neoplatonism.

At about 17 years of age, he got into a relationship with a woman in Carthage, the great city of Roman Africa. 

But his family did not bless it because the woman belonged to a lower class. But the affair lasted for 15 years, and the woman gave him a son named Adeodatus, which means gift of God.

Augustine ended the affair with the woman to marry a heiress. But the marriage did not materialize; he decided to become a Catholic priest.

Augustine converted to Christianity at the age of 31 in AD 386. 

He disclosed that his conversion was influenced by a child's voice singing and telling him to "take up and read" the Scriptures. Ponticianus and the life of Anthony of the Desert also led him to his conversion.

After his conversion and baptism, Augustine formulated his own method of philosophy and theology. 

He became the first Christian philosopher. His philosophy, politics, and Christianity met in harmony. He's regarded as a doctor of the church in Roman Catholicism. 

His writings on peace, justice, human society, the role of the state, and other topics influenced the development of Western Civilization.

He is not only revered by the Catholic Church, but also by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutherans, and the Anglicans.

His teachings on salvation and divine grace earned him the respect of Protestants. Martin Luther was, in fact, a member of the Order of the Augustinian Eremites.

Augustine's written works included The Confessions and The City of God. The latter influenced biblical exegesis.

He also taught rhetoric in Carthage. He became a professor of rhetoric at Milan, the center of Western Civilization at the time. He was baptized here by Ambrose.

At the age of 36, he became a priest in Hippo. He became its bishop in AD 395 and spent the rest of his life as one.

Augustine was dying when the Vandals seized Hippo in AD 430. He passed away on August 28, 430. The Vandals left Hippo after his death, but returned soon and burned the city. The Vandals spared his library and cathedral.

Popular acclaim helped to canonize him. He was recognized as a Doctor of the Church by Pope Boniface VIII in 1298.

Augustine is the patron saint of brewers, theologians, printers, philosophers, and cities.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.