St Augustine, Bishop of Hippo | Saint of the Day | August 28

Prayer to Saint Augustine of Hippo

We humbly supplicate and beseech thee, O thrice-blessed Augustine, that thou wouldst be mindful of us poor sinners this day, daily, and at the hour of our death, that by thy merits and prayers we may be delivered from all evils, of soul as well as body, and daily increase in virtue and good works; obtain for us that we may know our God and know ourselves, that in His mercy He may cause us to love Him above all things in life and death; impart to us, we beseech thee, some share of that love with which thou so ardently glow, that our hearts being all inflamed with this divine love, happily departing out of this mortal pilgrimage, we may deserve to praise with thee the loving heart of Jesus for a never-ending eternity.

Holy Spirit Prayer of Saint Augustine

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit,

That my thoughts may all be holy.

Act in me, O Holy Spirit,

That my work, too, may be holy.

Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit,

That I love but what is holy.

Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit,

To defend all that is holy.

Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit,

That I always may be holy.

St. Augustine Novena

Opening Prayer:

O holy Saint Augustine, who has famously declared that “Our hearts were made for you, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in you.”, aid me in my own search for our Lord that through your intercession I may be granted the wisdom to determine the purpose God has planned for me. Pray that I be blessed with the courage to follow God’s will even at times when I do not understand. Ask our Lord to lead me to a life worthy of His love, that I may one day share the riches of His kingdom. Petition our Lord and Savior to ease the burden of my problems and grant my special intention, and I will honor you all of my days

Day One:

Beloved Saint Augustine the miracles you have performed for the greater glory of God have caused people to seek your intercession for their most pressing concerns. Hear my cries as I invoke your name to petition God for an increased faith and to aid me in my present distress. (State the nature of your problem or the special favor you seek)

Day Two:

Holy Saint Augustine, you have been plucked from a life of iniquity through the incessant prayers of your mother Saint Monica to become a staunch defender of the faith. Pray for me now and turn not from my petitions, that I may also be blessed with God’s grace and guidance through this present predicament into a life of complete subservience to His will. (State the nature of your problem or the special favor you seek)

Day Three:

Glorious Saint Augustine you are renowned in the Christian world for your kindness, compassion and powerful intercession. Emboldened by this, I humbly come before you to invoke your aid in asking for God’s all-powerful assistance to see me through my most pressing concern. (State the nature of your problem or the special favor you seek)

Day Four:

Saint Augustine, through you God has manifested his power and mastery of the earth, enabling you to make prophesies and to perform miracles to aid the poorest of the poor, whom you have chosen to serve. Look upon me, a poor servant of God, and the afflictions of body and spirit that plague me, and in your kindness, help me seek the aid of the One True God we seek to love and serve throughout our lives. (State the nature of your problem or the special favor you seek)

Day Five:

Saint Augustine, God’s faithful servant, educator and evangelist, show me the mercy you are renowned for and come to my aid in this time of distress. Hear my cries and ask our Lord Jesus Christ to bless me with a favorable response to my petition. (State the nature of your problem or the special favor you seek)

Day Six:

Holy Saint Augustine, you were saved when you heeded God’s call for your conversion, and granted the power to perform powerful miracles in His name. Let your kindness cause you to plead to God for a miraculous resolution of my present problem and the granting of my special intention. (State the nature of your problem or the special favor you seek)

Day Seven:

Glorious Saint Augustine, in your compassion, wisdom and grace, all who seek your aid do not leave empty handed. In this time of extreme anxiety, I entrust my present predicament to the power of your kind intercession. May you obtain for me the grace to have the special favor I ask for be granted. (State the nature of your problem or the special favor you seek)

Day Eight:

Saint Augustine, God has tasked you with aiding people in distress even when the assistance they need requires you to perform miracles in His name. Refuse not my request for your kind intercession and obtain for me the special favor that I seek through this novena. (State the nature of your problem or the special favor you seek)

Day Nine:

Holy Saint Augustine, you have overcome great adversity to be revered as one of the greatest saints of our Church. In your wisdom and compassion, aid me in my own life quest to fulfill the destiny laid for me, that God may bless me with the strength, courage and wisdom to surrender my temporal concerns to His will. Intercede for me that my most pressing concerns be resolved and my petition granted. (State the nature of your problem or the special favor you seek)

Closing Prayers:

Glorious Saint Augustine I boldly ask for your intercession confident in your boundless wisdom and compassion. May this devotion lead me to a life dedicated to the fulfilling the will of God that I may one day be deemed worthy of sharing His Kingdom with you and all the saints for all eternity.

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory Be…

St. Augustine, Pray For Us!


Augustine’s mother, St. Monica, reared him in the Catholic faith, but he did not follow her example. A lively, witty and exuberant teenager, Augustine undertook the study of rhetoric, giving brilliant performance and showing enormous promise. He loved life and its pleasures, displayed a profound gift for friendship, experienced passionate love, adored the theater, sought  fun and entertainment. In Carthage, where he went to study, he fell in love with a girl. Since she was of a lower social class, he took her as his concubine, but did not marry. They had a son, Adeodatus (whose name means “God-given”). Augustine, a father at 19, remained faithful to his common-law wife and took responsibility for the “family” ménage. On reading Cicero's Hortensius, Augustine’s whole way of seeing the world experienced a change. Happiness, Cicero taught him, consists of things that do not perish: wisdom, truth, virtue. Augustine decided to dedicate his whole life to their pursuit.

The Search for Truth

Having been reared in a Christian house, Augustine turned first to the Bible. He was not prepared to receive the wisdom of Sacred Scripture, however, and found holy writ gross and illogical. He then joined the sect of the Manichees (a group dedicated to a basically dualistic form of eclectic esoterism). Returning to Thagaste, he opened a school of “grammar” and rhetoric with the help of a benefactor, but the life he led did not please him, so he returned to   Carthage with hope for a better future there. He continued to be dissatisfied. His thirst for truth was not slaked by the Manichaean doctrine. The young and promising rhetor went in search of  new shores, and in 382, he moved to Rome with his companion and son, without informing his mother, who who had reached Carthage in the meantime. In the Imperial city, however, Augustine maintained his contacts with the Manichaeans, from whom he received financial support and encouragement. Later, he would come to understand that Providence also operates in one’s wrong choices. His career began to advance full-sail, and in 384 he earned the chair of rhetoric in Milan. Nevertheless, his inner turmoil continued to torment him.

Conversion: Tolle! Lege!

Augustine’s ambition is satiated at Milan, but his heart continued restless. To refine his ars oratoria, he listened to the sermons of Bishop Ambrose. He wanted to overwhelm Ambrose’s dialectics, and instead the words of the Bishop touched him to the quick. Meanwhile, his mother Monica came to join him in Milan, and she accompanied him with her prayers. Augustine grew ever closer to the Catholic Church, and entered the catechumenate. Desiring a Christian wife, he sent his concubine to Africa. Still troubled, Augustine devoured philosophical texts and plunged into Sacred Scripture. Tempted by the experience of Greek thinkers, and attracted to the lifestyle of Christian ascetics, he cannot make up his mind. One day in August, 386,  disoriented and confused, weeping in a garden, he seemed to hear a voice: Tolle! Lege! (which means, “Pick it up and read”). He considered the voice an invitation to turn to Paul’s letters, a copy of which was on a nearby table, and opened them at random. “"Let's trade honestly, as in the daytime, not in the midst of orgies and drunkenness, not among lusts and impurities, not in litigation and jealousy. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ instead of letting go of the fleshly desires. (Rm 13, 13-14)” The lines were decisive for him. He decided to change his life and to devote himself to God. He was baptized by Ambrose in the night between April 24 and 25, 387, and wishing to return to Africa, travels to Rome to embark from the port city, Ostia, where his mother, Monica, died before taking ship.

The first Augustinian community and the episcopal ministry

Augustine founded his first community in his hometown, Thagaste. Between the end of 390 and the beginning of 391, he found himself perchance in Hippo, in the basilica where Bishop Valerius was talking to his faithful about the need for a priest in his diocese. Alerted to his presence among them, the congregation pushes Augustine to the fore, and insists that Valerius ordain him. THough he had been convinced of his calling to live in a vowed religious state, Augustine, studying and meditating on the Scriptures, came to understand that God had else in store for him. He eventually became Bishop of Hippo, succeeding Valerius, and left countless writings behind, in which he carried forward his lifelong project of truth-seeking through faith and reason.