Death and Veneration
|Saint Augustine of Hippo|
Tomb in San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro Basilica, Pavia.
|Bishop, Philosopher, Theologian|
|Honored in||All Christianity|
|Major shrine||San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro, Pavia, Italy|
|Feast||28 August (Western Christianity)
15 June (Eastern Christianity)
4 November (Assyrian)
|Attributes||child; dove; pen; shell, pierced heart, holding book with a small church, bishop's staff, miter|
|Patronage||brewers; printers; theologians
Bridgeport, Connecticut; Cagayan de Oro, Philippines;
Shortly before Augustine's death, Roman Africa was invaded by the Vandals, a Germanic tribe that had converted to Arianism. The Vandals besieged Hippo in the spring of 430, when Augustine entered his final illness. According to Possidius, one of the few miracles attributed to Augustine, the healing of an ill man, took place during the siege. According to Possidius, Augustine spent his final days in prayer and repentance, requesting that the penitential Psalms of David be hung on his walls so that he could read them. He directed that the library of the church in Hippo and all the books therein should be carefully preserved. He died on 28 August 430. Shortly after his death, the Vandals lifted the siege of Hippo, but they returned not long thereafter and burned the city. They destroyed all of it but Augustine's cathedral and library, which they left untouched.
According to Bede's True Martyrology, Augustine's body was later translated or moved to Cagliari, Sardinia, by the Catholic bishops expelled from North Africa by Huneric. Around 720, his remains were translated again by Peter, bishop of Pavia and uncle of the Lombard king Liutprand, to the church of San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro, in order to save them from frequent coastal raids by Muslims. In January 1327, Pope John XXII issued the papal bull Veneranda Santorum Patrum, in which he appointed the Augustinians guardians of the tomb of Augustine, which was remade in 1362 and elaborately carved with bas-reliefs of scenes from Augustine's life. By that time, however, the actual remains of Augustine could not be authenticated. The Augustinians were expelled from Pavia in 1700, taking refuge in Milan with the relics of Augustine, and the disassembled Arca, which were removed to the cathedral there. San Pietro fell into disrepair, but was finally rebuilt in the 1870s, under the urging of Agostino Gaetano Riboldi, and reconsecrated in 1896 when the relics of Augustine and the shrine were once again reinstalled.
Augustine was canonized by popular acclaim, and later recognized as a Doctor of the Church in 1298 by Pope Boniface VIII. His feast day is 28 August, the day on which he died. He is considered the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, sore eyes, and a number of cities and dioceses.
Famous quotes containing the words death and, veneration and/or death:
“Life springs from death and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations.... They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think they have provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools, they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.”
—Patrick Henry Pearse (18791916)
“It is evident, from their method of propagation, that a couple of cats, in fifty years, would stock a whole kingdom; and if that religious veneration were still paid them, it would, in twenty more, not only be easier in Egypt to find a god than a man, which Petronius says was the case in some parts of Italy; but the gods must at last entirely starve the men, and leave themselves neither priests nor votaries remaining.”
—David Hume (17111776)
“Old age is a tyrant that forbids us upon pain of death all the pleasures of youth.”
—François, Duc De La Rochefoucauld (16131680)