Augustine's Parents

Aurelius Augustinus was born on 13 November 354 in Thagaste (today Souk-Ahras), in what is now Algeria. The marriage of his parents is a mixed marriage: Patrizio is pagan and Monica Christian..

Augustine does not talk much about his father. Patrizio is a minor official of the Municipality of Thagaste, so not wealthy. A passionate man, who often allows himself many affairs, but who, writes Augustine, is "a singularly affectionate man, but just as quick to become angry, and my mother had learned not to resist him in moments of anger". The goodness and kindness of his wife Monica lead him to the Catholic faith: in 370 he becomes a catechumen and dies the following year, after having received baptism.


On the other hand, Augustine speaks a lot about his mother and with great admiration. It is she who wears the trousers at home and, in this way, can give her children a Christian education. The effect of this education on him is love for the name of Jesus, who Augustine says has "sucked breast milk"; faith in God, in divine Providence and in life to come. Augustine recalls the figure of his mother as follows: "My mother was with us, who deserves credit, as I believe, for all that I am living, that is all that I have: intelligence, strength of character, nobility of spirit, passionate love of truth, culture, the conversion granted to the genuine tears that my mother wept every day". Augustine is not baptised immediately. In fact, the custom of the period is to not confer baptism immediately after birth; it is preferred to wait until the age of maturity. Still a child and seriously ill, it is he who asks to be baptised, but it is again postponed.

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