Augustine of Hippo is our founder and the father of an extensive Religious Family that follows his Rule, his teachings and his way of life. In these pages we approach his biography, his sensitivity, his way of life and his proposals to men and women of all times.

In Tagaste only the elementary grade was studied. So my parents sent me to continue my studies in Madaura, a nearby city. I was twelve years old, and I was there for two, until I finished the second cycle. I got very good grades in everything except Greek, which has never been my strong suit. Then I began to be passionate about literature; at first it was poetry that I read most avidly.

Agustín leyendo el Hortensio. Santiago Bellido, lámina. Valladolid, 1999.
Augustine reading El Hortensio. Santiago Bellido, plate. Valladolid, Spain, 1999.

Returning home I found my family in financial difficulties. My father couldn’t afford to put me through school anymore, so I spent some time lazing around and being thugs with my friends. Sometimes we went too far, and we did things that I later regretted a lot. Once, for example, we went into an orchard to steal pears. And that wasn’t the bad thing; The worst thing is that we didn’t steal them to eat them, but out of pure malice, to annoy the owner or not to be less than the others.

Afterwards, my parents made a great effort and, with the help of Romaniano, the town’s rich man, I was able to go to study in Cartago. This was the capital of Roman Africa and one of the most important cities in the entire Empire. I went to university there and the three years I spent were transcendental for my life.

I met a girl, we fell in love and started living together. Very soon we had a son. Due to our situation, at first we did not receive it with great enthusiasm, but soon we accepted it with all our love. Notice what name we gave him: Adeodatus, which means Given-by-God. Our union lasted about twelve years and we were happy. Later I will tell you why we parted ways. We educated our son carefully and he grew up to be a brilliant boy.

But what transformed my life was a book. During the last year, we had to read and analyze a work by Cicero, the great Roman orator. The one that touched me was called Hortensius, and Cicero had written it to encourage young people to study philosophy and seek the truth with all his might. He left me fully convinced: since then, everything that was not knowing God, man and the world, seemed meaningless to me.

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