Pope Receives Relics of St. Augustine

1650th Anniversary of Saint’s Birth

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Marking the 1650th anniversary of the birth of their patron, the Augustinians have brought the relics of St. Augustine to Rome making several stops, including the Pope’s private chapel.

John Paul II received the relics of the bishop of Hippo, philosopher and theologian on Thursday.

The urn containing the relics had made a previous stop at the Patristic Institute Augustinianum, center dedicated to Christian antiquity and early Church theologians, located next to St. Peter’s Square.

It is the first time that St. Augustine’s relics are in Rome. They were brought from Pavia, at the initiative of the Italian province of the Augustinians in union with the order’s general chapter. St. Augustine’s relics will be in Rome until Nov. 15.

Special celebrations are planned every day around the relics.

St. Augustine was born on Nov. 13, 354 in today’s Algeria in northern Africa. He is regarded as one of the greatest thinkers of all times. After a morally and doctrinally disordered youth, he was converted while in Milan and baptized in 387 by the city’s bishop, St. Ambrose.

After returning to his homeland, Augustine was elected bishop of Hippo, a ministry he exercised for 34 years, making a decisive contribution to the study of the Christian faith and the clarification of the doctrinal errors of his time. He died in the year 430.

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