St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430) is a Doctor of the Western Church and considered to be one of its most influential thinkers. At his birth, his father was a non-Christian and his mother (now St. Monica) was a devout Catholic. Young Augustine pursued many avenues to satisfy his thirst for truth, including experimentation with the heretical Manichaean sect and pursuing the passions of the flesh. St. Augustine wrote about this period in his classic book, Confessions (c. 400) which includes this famous line, “You move us to delight in praising You; for You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”
Throughout it all, his mother, St. Monica (~333 – 387) prayed for his conversion (as well as the conversion of her husband Patricius) and encouraged him to join the church. Her prayers were answered in 387 when St. Ambrose baptized St. Augustine. Augustine was ordained a priest and became bishop of Hippo in 391 – a post that he held for 34 years. He died on August 28, 430 and his feast day is August 28th.
There are many churches dedicated to St. Augustine and he is depicted in many statues, paintings and stained glass windows. The identifying symbolism in the artwork of St. Augustine includes: a bishop’s attire and a crosier, as well as a heart - or a flaming heart illustrating his “heart on fire for God.” He is often shown in scenes alongside St. Monica, the patron saint of mothers whom he mourned (and celebrated) in Chapter IX of Confessions, where he wrote of her last days. Her feast day is celebrated on August 27th, the day before her son’s feast day.
Read more about St. Augustine, St. Monica and see artwork of them at https://churchwonders.com/st-augustine-st-monica/