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.

The character who is going to speak is considered in the books to be one of the greatest sages ever. He has always been represented as a Holy Father and Doctor of the Church, the greatest of all. The masters of art portray him serious, solemn, imposing. But all that matters little to him. Augustine was not and is not one of those who look for complacent audiences to dazzle with his roll. What he tries, rather, is to make himself meet with people, to meet specific people -you or me- start a conversation alone and share experiences.

You will see that there are many of us who can identify with him. You, who are a professional, or an intellectual, or an artist with a future; or you, who have been trapped in the viscous doctrines of ideologies, of sects, of fanaticisms; or the one who has allowed himself to be enslaved by sex or pleasures; or that other, who above all passionately loves his friends; or the one from beyond, who is simply a good person but feels empty. We are all Augustine. He collects many of our hobbies or passions. In it our vital trajectories intersect.

Throughout more than fifteen centuries, there are many who have looked at themselves in the mirror of Augustine. Those who have wanted to trace his experience and reproduce it on a scale in their own lives. They are the Augustinians, of whom he also speaks here. And the secluded ones, which sprout from his own stem, at the push of his own sap, with the same aspiration towards the sun that he had. All of them form the channel through which the vital flow of Augustine powerfully reaches those of us who live on this side of the year 2000.

Contrasted quality of life: that is what Augustine and the Augustinians can offer. To be other ‘Augustines’, that is what we wish for all readers.

Original text of The tree that Augustine planted, by Pablo Panedas and Antonio Sánchez Carazo.

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