Friday 26 December 2008

Augustine's Son : Continued: How Augustine kept his Son

(Journey in a Broken World )

Article by Marc Aupiais

I am quite amazed at what one of my fellows in this service has found: they pointed me to an article in the Original Catholic Encyclopedia (New Advent's online version), about Augustine's son.

"Finally they separated. "She was stronger than I", wrote St. Augustine, "and made her sacrificewith a courage and a generosity which I was not strong enough to imitate." She returned to Carthage, whence she had come, and the grace which had led her tosacrifice the object of her affection further impelled her to bury herself in amonastery, where she might atone for the sin which had been the price so long paid for it. She left the brilliant young boy, Adeodatus, with his father. Seeing the wonderful intelligence of his son, Augustine felt a sort of awe. "The grandeur of hismind filled me with a kind of terror", he says himself (De beata vita, c. vi).Augustine received baptism at the age of thirty-two from the hands of St. Ambrose, the intimate friend of St. Monica and himself. To augment his joy, Adeodatus, AlypiusAugustine's life-long associate, and a number of his closest friends, all became Christians on the same occasion and received baptism together.MonicaAugustine, Adeodatus, who was now fifteen, and a son of Grace, if indeed "the child of my sin", as Augustine had styled him in the bitterness of self-reproach and contrition, together with the loyal Alypius, dwelt together in a villa at Cassiciacum, near Milan. The many conversations and investigations into holyquestions and truths made it a Christian Academy, of more exalted philosophy thanPlato's. Adeodatus had his full share in many of these learned discussions. He appears as interlocutor in his father's treatise De beata vita (puer ille minimusomnium -- that boy, the youngest of them all), and contributed largely to the treatise De Magistro, written two years later. He appears to have died soon after, in his sixteenth year."

And so, the son disappears: because he died, but he was with Augustine, he was never abandoned. I am so pleased that such people are so esteemed, whom I may contact with: I could not find this Son of Augustine: yet they find undoubtedly one of the best sources in modern history: and more than that: it justifies Augustine fully of the evil lie against him.

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