Augustine was born in Tagaste, in North Africa, in the year 354. He received a Christian education thanks to Monica, his devout mother, but left the faith as a young adult. In Italy, he studied philosophy and rhetoric, and at one time joined the Manichean sect. At the age of 33, he converted to Christianity, drawn back to the faith by the preaching of St. Ambrose, then bishop of Milan.
Augustine’s education in philosophy served him well as a priest and bishop (of Hippo, in North Africa). He remains one of the most prolific writers of the Catholic Church; his works include sermons (of which more than 400 survive), refutations of heresies, his Confessions and theological masterpieces such as City of God, On the Holy Trinity, and The Enchiridion. Although the Order of St. Augustine was not founded until 1244, he also wrote a rule prescribing a way of life for men and women who desire to live in a religious community. This guide is now known as the Rule of St. Augustine. Augustine died in 430 in Hippo.
“[God] gave you both this life as a single road to travel along. You have found yourselves companions, walking along the same road; he’s carrying nothing, you have an excessive load; he’s carrying nothing with him, you are carrying more with you than you need. You are overloaded: give him some of what you’ve got; at a stroke, you feed him and lessen your own load.” –St. Augustine, from Sermon 61, 10