Saints of Color Who Inspire Our Ministries: St. Augustine of Hippo
Feb. 1, 2022
"I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are wise and very beautiful; but I have never read in either of them: Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden."
Those who know me well know that St. Augustine of Hippo (354AD-430AD) is one of the saints closest to my heart. St. Augustine was a theologian and philosopher, and he was Bishop of Hippo Regius in Numidia, Roman North Africa.
In his youth, Augustine was a man far away from God. He talks about his life before God and his subsequent conversion in Confessions and The City of God. He attributes the ceaseless prayer by his mother, St. Monica of Hippo, as part of the reason of his conversion.
I first found St. Augustine when I was in college. Selections from Confessions was part of my required reading for a class. Immediately, I felt a connection with St. Augustine's experience of salvation. Like Augustine, I had a turbulent youth. (Who doesn't?) Realizing that the love and grace of Jesus Christ connects me to a person with whom I have a shared experience from over 1500 years ago became foundational in my own ministry.
St. Augustine inspires my ministry not because he stumbled and strayed off a path, but because he found the grace of God to journey on a path of love and teaching. St. Augustine inspires my ministry because I am reminded that we are connected to people of all times and places (the Communion of Saints) through that same grace of Jesus which empowered his conversion.
(Sandro Botticelli, St. Augustine, 1480.)
This week, I invite you to think of or research a Saint of Color who inspires you. Discuss as a family:
- What about this saint inspires you? What about him/her/them inspires your ministry?
- What is something you would like others to know about this saint?
- Do you feel a connection with this saint? Why/why not?
Prayer of St. Augustine to the Holy Spirit:
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. Amen.
Don't forget to check back here next week for a new reflection!