August 27-28 is the feast of St. Augustine – Patron Saint of Tanza, Cavite. It was the first time I have witnessed the celebration in the said town. In the morning we attended the mass. There were lots of devotees coming and leaving every hour in the church. There was a long line of people just as to touch the image of St. Augustine as placed inside the school compound of St. Augustine Catholic School.
I got a little bit curious about the life of the St. Augustine which led me to research about it and found his biography from http://www.ccel.org
St. Augustine – (354-430), Bishop of Hippo and “Doctor of the Church”
Accepted by most scholars to be the most important figure in the ancient Western church, St. Augustine was born in Tagaste, Numidia in North Africa. His mother was a Christian, but his father remained a pagan until late in life. After a rather unremarkable childhood, marred only by a case of stealing pears, Augustine drifted through several philosophical systems before converting to Christianity at the age of thirty-one. At the age of nineteen, Augustine read Cicero’s Hortensius, an experience that led him into the fascination with philosophical questions and methods that would remain with him throughout his life. After a few years as a Manichean, he became attracted to the more skeptical positions of the Academic philosophers. Although tempted in the direction of Christianity upon his arrival at Milan in 383, he turned first to neoplatonism, During this time, Augustine fathered a child by a mistress. This period of exploration, including its youthful excesses (perhaps somewhat exaggerated) are recorded in Augustine’s most widely read work, the Confessions.
During his youth, Augustine had studied rhetoric at Carthage, a discipline that he used to gain employment teaching in Carthage and then in Rome and Milan, where he met Ambrose who is credited with effecting Augustine’s conversion and who baptized Augustine in 387. Returning to his homeland soon after his conversion, he was ordained a presbyter in 391, taking the position as bishop of Hippo in 396, a position which he held until his death.
Besides the Confessions, Augustine’s most celebrated work is his De Civitate Dei (On the City of God), a study of the relationship between Christianity and secular society, which was inspired by the fall of Rome to the Visigoths in 410. Among his other works, many are polemical attacks on various heresies: Against Faustus, the Manichean; On Baptism; Against the Donatists; and many attacks on Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism. Other works include treatises On the Trinity; On Faith, Hope, and Love; On Christian Doctrine; and some early dialogues.
St. Augustine stands as a powerful advocate for orthodoxy and of the episcopacy as the sole means for the dispensing of saving grace. In the light of later scholarship, Augustine can be seen to serve as a bridge between the ancient and medieval worlds. A review of his life and work, however, shows him as an active mind engaging the practical concerns of the churches he served.
And that was it, in the afternoon we attended a gathering at a friend’s house and when the evening came we went into the church-front and watched some fireworks display (which they called “palma”) and some hot air balloons released. Even though the rain was pouring hard that night, that did not stop some of the expectators as they patiently wait even for the bull show or the “toro show”. This was the thing that we failed to see when we decided to go home due to the heavy rain showers.
There were vendors everywhere – sedera (i don’t know if I have spelled it correctly), selling items at its lowest prices be it some delicacies, accessories, household items, clothes and a lot more.
On the other hand, the celebration was still full of fun as they have said rain or shine the show must go on and that is in honor of St. Augustine.