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.

A few years later they made me Bishop of Hippo. And since there were many well-prepared and observant monks in my monastery, other dioceses began asking for them as bishops. In a short time, about ten cities in Africa were ruled by my brothers, and with them our ideal spread: new monasteries appeared.

Muerte de Agustín. Santiago Bellido, lámina. Valladolid, 1999.
Death of Augustine. Santiago Bellido, plate. Valladolid, Spain, 1999.

The work of the bishop was then especially hard. At that time, in addition to being a pastor, one had to act as a judge and mediator between the people. And heresies were not lacking to combat, in defense of the less enlightened faithful. Some were even violent and physically dangerous. The so-called “Donatism”, for example, was made up of fanatical people who did not hesitate to commit any crime to get away with it. Some priests were mutilated and even killed. I myself was about to suffer an attack on one of my visits to the towns of the diocese; I got off thanks to the coachman, who took the wrong road. Other heresies were especially painful for me, such as “Pelagianism”, which denied what I had experienced in my own flesh: that Christ is our savior.

Anyway, all this activity required me to write and talk a lot. I have published more than a hundred books, sent more than a thousand letters and preached several thousand sermons. How did I find strength for all this? Very simple: God grants us what He asks of us in advance.

Of course I also have to thank my brothers the monks. When I was made a bishop, I changed my house, and in the new one I founded another monastery: those who were priests lived there with me. His company, work and enthusiasm were a source of energy for me.

But no one could stop all these jobs from consuming my life.

To top it off, the political landscape was getting more and more complicated. The Roman Empire was dying. The barbarian troops invaded us from Spain and devastated all of North Africa. They came to Hippo and surrounded it. Those days, there was nothing but death, hunger and desolation everywhere. And many people from the countryside had sought refuge in my city. I no longer resisted; During this siege, in the midst of all my brothers, death came to me. It was August 28, 430. He was about to turn 76.

Once dead, I no longer had to worry about myself; I could dedicate myself entirely to my brothers and children, and that is what I have been doing ever since. I do not contemplate the spectacle of history indifferently, as a mere spectator; On the contrary, I see my children compete and I get passionate, and I don’t stop encouraging them, and I advise them and help them as much as I can. They are my children, we form a family; his triumphs are mine. This is what I have been doing since my death: living their history with them, helping them in difficult times, taking good note of their glories.

That is why I can tell you about them now: I have lived them and I know them well. And I also like to count them. That old people have always been proud of our grandchildren.

NEXT PAGE: 9. The history of my Family: the Augustinians