A Prayer to Saint Augustine of Hippo

For an Increase in Virtue and Good Works

St Augustine, detail from the Doctors of the Church Cycle, 1487-1492, fresco, Church of the Santissima Annunziata, Franciscan Monastery, Cortemaggiore, Emilia-Romagna. Italy, 15th century.
Saint Augustine, detail from the Doctors of the Church Cycle, 1487-1492, fresco, Church of the Santissima Annunziata, Franciscan Monastery, Cortemaggiore, Emilia-Romagna. Italy, 15th century. DEA / A. DE GREGORIO/De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

In this prayer to Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430), bishop and doctor of the Church, we ask the great convert to Christianity to intercede for us, that we may abandon evil and increase in virtue. Our earthly life is but a preparation for eternity, and true charity—love—is a foretaste of Heaven.

Prayer to Saint Augustine of Hippo

We humbly supplicate and beseech thee, O thrice-blessed Augustine, that thou wouldst be mindful of us poor sinners this day, daily, and at the hour of our death, that by thy merits and prayers we may be delivered from all evils, of soul as well as body, and daily increase in virtue and good works; obtain for us that we may know our God and know ourselves, that in His mercy He may cause us to love Him above all things in life and death; impart to us, we beseech thee, some share of that love with which thou so ardently glow, that our hearts being all inflamed with this divine love, happily departing out of this mortal pilgrimage, we may deserve to praise with thee the loving heart of Jesus for a never-ending eternity.

An Explanation of the Prayer to Saint Augustine of Hippo

We cannot save ourselves; only the grace of God, granted to us through the salvation wrought by His Son, can save us. In a similar way, though, we rely on others—the saints—to help us obtain that grace. Through their intercession with God in Heaven, they help to make our lives better, to avoid dangers and sins, to grow in love and virtue and good works. Their love for God is reflected in their love for His creation, especially man—that is, us. Having struggled through this life, they intercede with God to make our struggle easier. 

Definitions of Words Used in the Prayer to Saint Augustine of Hippo

Humbly: with humility; with modesty about oneself and one's worthiness

Supplicate: to ask or beg with a sense of humility and urgency

Beseech: to ask with urgency, to beg, to implore

Thrice-blessed: extremely blessed or very blessed; thrice refers to the idea that three is a perfect number

Mindful: to be conscious or aware

Merits: good deeds or virtuous actions that are pleasing in God's sight

Delivered: set free

Increase: grow greater

Obtain: to gain something; in this case, to gain something for us through intercession with God

Impart: to bestow or confer something on someone

Ardently: passionately; enthusiastically

Inflamed: on fire; in this case, a metaphorical meaning

Mortal: relating to life in this world rather than in the next; earthly

Pilgrimage: a journey undertaken by a pilgrimage to a desired destination, in this case Heaven

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Richert, Scott P. "A Prayer to Saint Augustine of Hippo." ThoughtCo, Jan. 30, 2016, thoughtco.com/prayer-to-saint-augustine-of-hippo-542710. Richert, Scott P. (2016, January 30). A Prayer to Saint Augustine of Hippo. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/prayer-to-saint-augustine-of-hippo-542710 Richert, Scott P. "A Prayer to Saint Augustine of Hippo." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/prayer-to-saint-augustine-of-hippo-542710 (accessed May 21, 2018).