Patron Saint of the Parish
St. Augustine, or Austin, once a great libertine and heretic, but after his conversion in answer to the prayers of his holy mother, St. Monica, one of the most learned and holy Doctors of the Church, was born on the thirtieth day of November, A. D. 354, at Tagasta, in Numidia, in Africa, not far from Hippo, of parents in moderate circumstances but not rich. His father, Patricius (Patrick), was an idolater, but through the persistent prayers of his wife was baptized a Christian shortly before his death. St. Monica, his mother, was one of the most devoted and holy mothers known in the annals of the Church.
St. Augustine writes of one brother, Navigius, who had a family, and of a sister who was an abbess.
Augustine was very talented but vain and sensual. His father, recognizing his talents, became imbued with the ambition to make of him a great scholar and sent him to the best schools in Tagasti, and finally sent him to Carthage, to a higher institution of learning, and although he was at first somewhat indolent, through vanity to surpass his fellow, students, he finally became a finished scholar which was of much use to him and to the Church after his conversion. His mother more solicitious for his eternal welfare than for his temporal success, had carefully instructed him in his religion and taught him his prayers; and he became a catechumen; and while going to school he became dangerously ill and desired to be baptized, but growing better, the administration of the Sacrament was deferred lest he should stain his baptismal innocence by falling into sin. This ancient custom of deferring baptism for fear that the recipient would fall into sin before he fully realizes the great importance of the Sacrament, St. Augustine afterwards denounced as an evil, and the Church long since ordered baptism to be administrated in infancy to the children of Catholic parents.
Augustine finally became an accomplished orator. Unfortunately, in his sixteenth year had fallen into sensuality