Saint Augustine of Hippo

28th August

Saint Augustine was one of the wisest persons in the Catholic Church. His teachings and writings are still studied to this day.

The experience of his life, especially his conversion, serves as a great example of our journey to God as Christians. One of his speeches, which is still quoted today, is: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

This is a very difficult thought for children to understand, and maybe it does not apply to their young age. Therefore, we can take note of some teachings from Saint Augustine’s life as they are presented in the video.

Ask for the children’s opinion about the influence of Augustine’s friends on him, about how important it was to Augustine that his friends not only accepted him but also admired him.

Discuss with the children, according to their age, the influence friends have in their life and how friends can influence them in positive and negative ways.

Ask them about:

  • Augustine and his friends throwing away the fruit that they stole
  • Augustine lying to his mother so that he can do whatever he likes

Remind them the words that Augustine heard the Bishop of Milan, Saint Ambrose, saying and which made him reflect on the way he was living his life: “That which you do with the young children, you are doing with me.” The Bishop’s words were based on the duty that we have to take care of those who are lacking in basic needs.

Start the habit of saying a spontaneous prayer before meals, and a prayer of appreciation for the food provided. Encourage the children to share with others what they have:

  • If they are young, they should share their toys with their siblings, cousins or friends
  • If they are older, they should share their tablet, laptop time, game time or television time with others
  • They can decorate a box/can/tin and put in it some pocket money they receive so as to be given to charity (in this way they do not only save up for themselves but also for those in need

Jesus is always ready to welcome us with open arms in the Sacrament of Confession, and he hugs us like he did to Augustine. Just like Jesus is always ready to forgive us when we feel sorry for what we did and ask forgiveness, we should be ready to forgive each other. In family prayers, these can be days in which we turn to those we wronged in any way, we say “Sorry,” and we offer them a hug.

Augustine, Saint Monica’s son, did not always feel sympathetic towards the Christian faith, so much so that he turned away from God. His mother Monica kept worrying and praying for him. When Augustine met with Bishop Ambrose and he spoke with him about the Christian religion, and after plenty of discussions, Augustine converted to Christianity, he became a priest and he started to teach and preach until his death.

Two persons are to sit back to back with a paper and a pencil in hand. One person should start drawing while giving out instructions, step by step, of what he/she is drawing to the other person. The other person, therefore, should be attentive to draw only what he/she is listening to. When the drawing is complete, the drawings should be shown to each other to see how well you have communicated and understood each other. Repeat the game but this time change roles.

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Saints of the Church. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the holy life, helping you to connect the saints to daily life in a meaningful way.