Augustine of Hippo vs. Augustine of Canterbury

Congratulations! You have officially survived the first full weekend without Lent Madness voting — an activity that continues throughout the weekdays of Lent. Your reward? The long-anticipated Battle of the Augustines! Will it be Hippo or Canterbury? The choice, dear friends, is yours.

For those who didn’t receive news of Friday’s results (and you can always go back to the original post or check the Bracket tab), Raymond Nonnatus   ripped apart John of Nepomuk 83% to 17%.

We also have good news to report on ReviewGate, the controversy that recently touched the inner sanctum of Lent Madness. Last Friday we shared the news that someone had (shockingly!) given Lent Madness a 2-out-of-5 rating on our Facebook page. In fact, over the years we had garnered a 4.8 star rating. That might seem high but when you consider yourselves “Supreme” that’s just not good enough. Thanks to the hundreds of Lent Madness fans who shared our outrage and posted their own reviews, we are up to a full 5-out-of-5 star rating with nearly 1,000 reviews. In other words, all is now right with the Lenten world.

Augustine of Hippo

Fourth-century Bishop Augustine of Hippo is, along with Paul of Tarsus, one of the most influential theologians of the Western Church. His writings on creation, the sacraments, the Church, the Trinity, and grace are considered seminal works of Western theology. While Augustine’s work is often described as academic—and occasionally bordering on pedantic—Augustine also exhibited vulnerability, as is memorably seen in his Confessions.

From a young age, Augustine avoided saintly living. While his mother Monnica raised him as a Christian, he was never baptized. He abandoned Christianity in his youth, studying rhetoric, philosophy, and Manichaeism, a chief religious rival to Christianity in North Africa. Augustine lived a free and unconstrained life for fifteen years living with a woman and fathering a child outside the bonds of marriage. He eventually abandoned his relationship, moving to Rome to start a school and finally to Milan to serve the court as a professor of rhetoric. Augustine fell under the influence of Ambrose, Milan’s bishop, and he reached his own religious crisis, which he describes at length in his Confessions. In 387, Ambrose baptized Augustine on Easter Eve, and Augustine found the rest in God for which his heart had so longed. He returned to North Africa and lived a quasi-monastic life as a layperson until 391 when—against his own will—he was seized by the community around him and ordained as a priest. Within four years, he had been ordained to the episcopate, and he served as Bishop of Hippo until his death in 430.

Augustine’s breadth of life experience, his profound intellect, and his prayerful demeanor are evident in his writing. Augustine countered the Manichaeans’ insistence on the existence of a force in eternal opposition to God, affirming instead the goodness of creation. He defended the doctrine of the Trinity, arguing for the rationality of the three-in-one and one-in-three nature of God. Augustine asserted that the church is holy because of the calling its members receive from God. Above all, Augustine’s theology is rooted in a deep yearning and desire for God and a profound sense of the importance of the community of the Church and of all its members.

Collect for Augustine of Hippo
Lord God, the light of the minds that know you, the life of the souls that love you, and the strength of the hearts that serve you: Help us, following the example of your servant Augustine of Hippo, so to know you that we may truly love you, and so to love you that we may fully serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

-David Sibley

Augustine of Canterbury

Details of Augustine’s early life are sketchy. He was born in sixth-century Rome, most likely into an aristocratic family. He is thought to have been a student of Felix, Bishop of Messana, who was a contemporary and friend of Pope Gregory the Great.

Often called the Apostle to the English, Augustine began his journey to Canterbury in 596 CE, after Pope Gregory called him to lead a group of forty (mostly monks) to the kingdom of Kent in Britannia. Travel was treacherous, and the group returned to Rome after reaching Gaul, where tales of Britannia frightened them. Pope Gregory was not sympathetic and promptly sent them back on their way, where they landed on the Isle of Thanet in 597.

The Kentish people met the monks’ ministry with interest and hospitality. Though Christianity had been previously established in southeastern Britain, many Christians had gone into hiding following the Saxon conquest. Augustine’s arrival allowed Christians to be more open about their faith. King Æthelberht of Kent was married to Queen Bertha—a Christian—and Æthelberht responded kindly toward Augustine and his fellow monks, allowing them to use an old church from the Roman occupation located in the village of Canterbury. From this modest beginning, the parish church and the town were transformed into the center of Augustine’s work and ministry.

Pope Gregory suggested—and Augustine complied—that Augustine purify rather than destroy the area’s pagan temples and practices. Working with local traditions, Augustine and his brothers spread Christianity while retaining some of the cultural traditions of the Kentish people. Augustine evangelized widely, establishing churches and schools, celebrating the sacraments, and baptizing converts. Augustine is reported to have baptized thousands of people on Christmas Day 597.

Augustine was seated as the first Archbishop of Canterbury in 597, forming the first link in an unbroken, unwavering succession of Archbishops of Canterbury. Augustine died on May 26, around 604, in Canterbury, where he is buried. His feast is celebrated on May 26.

Collect for Augustine of Canterbury
O Lord our God, by your Son Jesus Christ you called your apostles and sent them forth to preach the Gospel to the nations: We bless your holy Name for your servant Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, whose labors in propagating your Church among the English people we commemorate today; and we pray that all whom you call and send may do your will, and bide your time, and see your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

-Neva Rae Fox

Augustine of Hippo vs. Augustine of Canterbury

  • Augustine of Canterbury (57%, 4,542 Votes)
  • Augustine of Hippo (43%, 3,486 Votes)

Total Voters: 8,028

Loading ... Loading ...

Augustine of Hippo—Simone Martini, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Augustine of Canterbury—By We El at nl.wikipedia Public domain, from Wikimedia

321 Comments to "Augustine of Hippo vs. Augustine of Canterbury"

  1. Oliver--Nine Years Old's Gravatar Oliver--Nine Years Old
    March 13, 2017 - 8:01 am | Permalink

    I voted for Saint Augustine of Canterbury because he converted the English.

    • ChrisinNY's Gravatar ChrisinNY
      March 13, 2017 - 8:06 am | Permalink

      I did too- because he used the local traditions while spreading God’s love.

      • Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
        March 13, 2017 - 8:11 am | Permalink

        Same here. Showing how previous beliefs fit with a larger truth shows more respect than just throwing them out as being terrible.

        (Not suggesting the other Augustine did that, mind you.)

        • Kathleen Sheehy's Gravatar Kathleen Sheehy
          March 13, 2017 - 8:52 am | Permalink

          Agreed. He reminds me a bit of st.patrick who did likewise and his mission to Ireland

      • Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
        March 13, 2017 - 10:06 am | Permalink

        I did, too. Hanging of the Greens, the New Fire, that sort of thing – we Anglicans/Episcopalians can’t get enough.

        • Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
          March 13, 2017 - 10:12 am | Permalink

          Yes, this helps me vote for this Augustine for these reasons rather than a judgmental one I have with Hippo. We never hear more about his child out of wedlock? Did he escape fatherhood by turning to the monastic life? If so, shame on him. If not, shame on me for being so quick to judge. Still Augustine of Canterbury gets my vote. Love those people who live on those isles.

          • Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
            March 13, 2017 - 10:30 am | Permalink

            That is my quibble with him too — what I gathered was that he abandoned his partner of 15 years and their son when he got religion. Something wrong with that kind of religion!

          • Sandra's Gravatar Sandra
            March 13, 2017 - 11:05 am | Permalink

            The relationship between Augustine and his concubine ended in 385, but he clearly still had a relationship with his son, Adeodatus, because they were baptized at the same time at the Easter Vigil in 387. Augustine’s mother, Monnica, died the following year and Adeodatus died soon after.

          • Rhonda's Gravatar Rhonda
            March 13, 2017 - 11:11 am | Permalink

            I’m with you Lisa and Allison. Who gets ordained ‘against his own will’?
            Augustine, the First Archbishop of Canterbury❤

          • Jennifer S.'s Gravatar Jennifer S.
            March 13, 2017 - 12:04 pm | Permalink

            Spoiler alert but we DO know quite a bit about Augustine’s relationship with his son, Adeodatus. He did not abandon the boy. See link here:
            We know less about the relationship with the boy’s mother, who is never named. That long-standing relationship was also complicated by Augustine’s own mom. Lent Madness is sometimes about the snap judgement, but also an opportunity to go deeper into the stories. Whatever that complicated family relationship was about, it was not a one-night stand. I hear a lot of sacrifice in it, for better or worse, on many sides. Same deal with the ordination thing. Augustine loved the monastic arrangement. He must have had some (accurate) idea of the personal sacrifices ordained priesthood and later episcopacy might mean. But he did ultimately answer yes to both calls. Not the first, or last, to do it with some trepidation in his discernment!

          • Mary Kephart's Gravatar Mary Kephart
            March 13, 2017 - 12:10 pm | Permalink

            I couldn’t agree more. Abandoning a child takes you out of “saintly” realm, in my humble opinion.

          • Thomas (Athanasios) Stama's Gravatar Thomas (Athanasios) Stama
            March 13, 2017 - 12:49 pm | Permalink

            I find that the Western Church relied to heavily on Augustine of Hippo ignoring the Greek Fathers. Augustine without them is off the mark. While with them there is a nice balance. I voted for St. Augustine of Canterbury because he was one of a handful of missionaries to make a big difference in Great Britain. May St. Gregory the Great (Patriarch of Rome) be remembered for sending St. Augustine to Britain!

          • Janis's Gravatar Janis
            March 13, 2017 - 1:06 pm | Permalink

            I’m so glad you brought up the issue of Augustine of Hippo’s apparent neglect of his child. I couldn’t seem to get past that fact. I realize I’m putting a 21st century lens on his behavior. However, I was much more impressed with Augustine of Canterbury’s positive life experiences.

          • Anna's Gravatar Anna
            March 13, 2017 - 2:18 pm | Permalink

            I voted Canterbury because of his evangelism and his being first in a long line of Bishps of Canterbury.

          • Maggie's Gravatar Maggie
            March 13, 2017 - 2:55 pm | Permalink

            I too wondered about his out of wedlock child. Seems like he would have wanted to make that situation right.

          • Danita Shaw's Gravatar Danita Shaw
            March 13, 2017 - 3:52 pm | Permalink

            That was my hold back on voting for Hippo. But I too liked that he held on to some local traditions.

          • March 13, 2017 - 10:56 pm | Permalink

            I agree with you, and our agreement amuses and pleases me. I hope you can read my post on Facebook, where I posted this link and page.

      • Sandra Rode's Gravatar Sandra Rode
        March 13, 2017 - 1:11 pm | Permalink

        i like the fact that A of Canterbury retained purified local traditions. However since that was Pope Gregory’s idea and he pushed that posse to return to the islands, I’ll vote for him when his name arises. In the meantime, A of Hippo gets my vote.

        • Judy Fleener's Gravatar Judy Fleener
          March 13, 2017 - 4:38 pm | Permalink

          Is this Augustin vs. Augustine? and if so, who is which

          • Gloria Rousseau's Gravatar Gloria Rousseau
            March 13, 2017 - 7:03 pm | Permalink

            1 Yes it is, and 2, you have to read to find out which is which.

      • Margot's Gravatar Margot
        March 13, 2017 - 6:56 pm | Permalink

        I think using local traditions is so important in the Christian church and we’re enriched by them. Here in Australia the indigenous people have made great contributions.

    • K.J.'s Gravatar K.J.
      March 13, 2017 - 10:35 am | Permalink

      I did too, because I liked that he got scared at first, but then tired again and did wonderful things for God. I get scared a lot too, but can can still use me!

    • Miss Jennifer's Gravatar Miss Jennifer
      March 13, 2017 - 11:47 am | Permalink

      Me too!

    • Princeton (5 years old)'s Gravatar Princeton (5 years old)
      March 13, 2017 - 2:25 pm | Permalink

      me too

    • Renny Lloyd's Gravatar Renny Lloyd
      March 13, 2017 - 2:28 pm | Permalink

      But Augustine of Canturbury messed up the established Celtic church, for which I, as a descendent of the Brythonic Celts (i.e., Welsh) have not forgiven him. Also, there were no “English” at the time; they were assorted Saxons & Celts, with remnants of Roman conquerors. And, he was sent to Kent, NOT Britain as a whole. And the Celtic Christians had been sanctifying and using people and places of the old religion for centuries before he appeared. Augustine didn’t convert the Britons, he merely subjected them and their church to Rome.

      • Susan's Gravatar Susan
        March 13, 2017 - 5:12 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for the insights.

      • Arnold's Gravatar Arnold
        March 13, 2017 - 5:43 pm | Permalink

        This is an important point. Augustine of Canterbury may have executed his mission in a fruitful and relatively “progressive” way, but I reject the premise that true Christianity must be under the control of a bishop. The unfortunate tradition of conformity and control in the British churches begins here. Whitby was wrong (the synod, not St. Hilda!). That’s my interpretation–I don’t mean to diss Gregory or A of C. Their time called for different measures than ours, and I do grant them the benefit of the doubt.
        Augustine of Hippo likewise struggled with the creation-denying dualisms that were dominant in his context. He was a remarkably faithful Christian thinker even from that starting point. No doubt he was incorrect in his belief that sex was sinful–he generalized hsi own experience and the prejudices of his culture there. But he went in a creation-affirming direction from that point. Pelagianism remains a popular error in the church today. Pelagius was no heretic, but his absolutization of free will was an error that has had terrible consequences. Augustine remains the foremost theorist of love in the Western tradition, as far as I can tell. If you think love is important to faith, thank Augustine of Hippo. We need Augustine more than ever.
        It’s simply false to say he abandoned his son and son’s mother. He doesn’t say much about her because she wasn’t a positive influence on his spiritual life. He was in a sinful yet socially-acceptable cohabiting relationship, and he left it. On the other hand, he has a lot to say about his mother Monica, probably the most important person in his Christian formation.
        I encourage every Christian to read and wrestle with Augustine’s Confessions. It’s an extremely influential book, and God has really challenged me personally through it.

        • Sandy Chambers's Gravatar Sandy Chambers
          March 13, 2017 - 5:51 pm | Permalink

          Thank you Arnold. Your input is filled with important information. My vote is for Augustine of Hippo.

        • March 13, 2017 - 11:41 pm | Permalink

          Arnold, you are indeed informative and well-spoken. Others on this feed have spoken of Augustine of Hippo having loved the child he had to leave and its mother–though of course I know no basis for this, as I know little on this subject, but am learning much. It is a hurdle I find hard to get over, that a man abandons his woman and her child–and goes off–as I was often wont to do, even with a family, husband, and household help, seeking, without abandoning my Faith, to fulfill other inquiries and the development of my own talents, which I thought benefitted my family as well as me. But I always considered these blessed mercies as perhaps risking some diminution of the attention my sons may have needed from no one else but their mother. Since I lost two of them in their mid-adulthood, that possibility makes me yearn to know that I got anywhere near doing the best I could for the love I held toward them all.

      • Linda's Gravatar Linda
        March 13, 2017 - 6:22 pm | Permalink

        Very true, Arnold, and I agree with you wholeheartedly. However, I consider Hippo’s endorsement and teaching of Original Sin to be an indelible black mark for him. I voted for Canterbury.

    • Ken's Gravatar Ken
      March 13, 2017 - 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Purify the pagan temples? Are you kidding me?

      • March 13, 2017 - 10:26 pm | Permalink

        No kidding. Christ’s redemption transforms places and things as well as people. Just as a person can convert from paganism to Christianity, so a temple can convert to a church.

  2. Jon New's Gravatar Jon New
    March 13, 2017 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    A difficult one, given that I’m English and was born in Kent. However, overall, Augustine of Hippo gets it for me due to the breadth and depth of his thought.

    • Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
      March 13, 2017 - 9:04 am | Permalink

      My mother’s family, although it had the Welsh name Bevan, is also from Kent, so I also voted for the Canterbury Augustine.

    • Rita Griffith's Gravatar Rita Griffith
      March 13, 2017 - 10:04 am | Permalink

      I voted for Hippo because of his influence on Christian thought and because Hippo is in Africa. I believe Canterbury will win, but Hippo’s the Augustine for me.

  3. Max -theology student's Gravatar Max -theology student
    March 13, 2017 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Augustine -his neoplatonic vision made for beautiful theology. He is the father of western Catholic thought.

  4. Nancy H's Gravatar Nancy H
    March 13, 2017 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    It was a tricky one, since so much of Hippo’s work is important. But I live in Kent, England and our own St Mary’s on the marsh was established by Aethelbert (and therefore A of Canterbury) 1000 years ago.

    • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
      March 13, 2017 - 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, Nancy. Our parish had a pilgrimage to Great Britain last year, in honor of our patron, St. Edmund. We visited St. Mary’s on the marsh, and I thought about that visit when I read the bio for Augustine of Canterbury. I acknowledge the great theological contributions of the Bishop of Hippo, but felt called to vote for the first Archbishop of Canterbury!

  5. Becky's Gravatar Becky
    March 13, 2017 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    It was a tough choice, but I had to go with Hippo. Anyone who has been voted into a position “against their will” has to sympathize with Hippo being “seized by the community around him” and being ordained a priest.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 13, 2017 - 8:33 am | Permalink

      Hahaha! I found out yesterday that someone has signed up all us choir members for coffee hour duty in the next few months, so I get your drift; still had to vote for Canterbury!

      • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
        March 13, 2017 - 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Yes, A of Hippo was “voluntold” into the priesthood, but I wonder if he was ever voluntold into paying child support.

  6. March 13, 2017 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    I voted for Canterbury because (a) I’m an Anglican and (b) I have never liked what Hippo did to poor Pelagius.

    • Bee Jay's Gravatar Bee Jay
      March 13, 2017 - 10:34 am | Permalink

      I vote for Canterbury, too. I am high church Episcopal; love prayer book worship. Am fascinated with all things Celtic; think Pelagius got it right! And I think Hippo messed up human sexuality to this very day. A black miter to Hippo. A brilliant white miter to Canterbury.

      • pHil's Gravatar pHil
        March 13, 2017 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

        I’m not sure yet that A of Canterbury’s miter is ALL that brilliant, but at this point in time, at least, A of Hippo’s abuse and misrepresentation of Pelagius is undermining his positive contributions too much for my vote. (Mercy! I’m glad MY legacy does not have to be scrutinized this way by Madness voters.)

    • Marjorie Heywood's Gravatar Marjorie Heywood
      March 13, 2017 - 11:19 am | Permalink

      I agree. I am too much a Celtic Christian to vote for Hippo.

    • Pearle's Gravatar Pearle
      March 13, 2017 - 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Me too! I’m very happy to have an opportunity to vote against Hippo, both for Pelagius’ sake and because he didn’t like women (as a group).

  7. Carolyn D. Mack's Gravatar Carolyn D. Mack
    March 13, 2017 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Very Roman choice today — the Augustine who set so much of the tone for the Roman Catholic Church or the Augustine who converted the English to Rome away from Celtic Christianity. I will go for the first Archbishop of Canterbury.

  8. Harriet's Gravatar Harriet
    March 13, 2017 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    Canterbury because he has a smile on his face and Hippo has a frown. I vote for smiles.

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 13, 2017 - 9:38 am | Permalink

      True, but Hippo is clearly the more fashion-foward, sporting the matching hat and gloves. ;- )

  9. Timothy Cole-French's Gravatar Timothy Cole-French
    March 13, 2017 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    I voted for Hippo because of the way he transformed even if it was by force 😉

  10. Jan's Gravatar Jan
    March 13, 2017 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Hippo abandoned his child. Vote goes to Canterbury

    • March 13, 2017 - 8:45 am | Permalink

      Actually, in his confessions, it is clear he did not. His son, Adeodatus (gift from God) traveled with him to Italy. He brought his mother with him to help care for the boy. Augustine was grief stricken when his son died as a youth. As harsh a critic as he could be to people of differing theological views, he was a devoted father.

      • MARGERY Wilson's Gravatar MARGERY Wilson
        March 13, 2017 - 9:16 am | Permalink

        Thank you for clarifying this. Had this been in the description of Hippo, many would have considered this. There’s always more to the story. Thanks for offering it.

      • Laurie's Gravatar Laurie
        March 13, 2017 - 9:36 am | Permalink

        thanks for this info. the description made it sound like he just took off!

        • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
          March 13, 2017 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

          I’ve read the Confessions but must have somehow missed what happened w/his son, so thanks other Jan for the added info. Still leaning towards the Archbishop of Canterbury.

      • Sara L's Gravatar Sara L
        March 13, 2017 - 10:11 am | Permalink

        Thanks for that clarification. I was feeling a bit of un-Christian judgement against Hippo for that particular detail. Now they’re back to even in my book, and so require further pondering.

        • Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
          March 13, 2017 - 10:14 am | Permalink

          I, too, had issue with this, and am glad to see it clarified in a way befitting a man of such faith. Still, I go with Canterbury.

      • Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
        March 13, 2017 - 10:33 am | Permalink

        He still abandoned his child’s mother. I’m guessing they were of different social stations and therefore never married, but sheesh! They were together 15 years!

        • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
          March 13, 2017 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

          I guess they didn’t have “common law marriages” back then.

      • Danita Shaw's Gravatar Danita Shaw
        March 13, 2017 - 4:33 pm | Permalink

        I guess I need a little more information.

    • Paige Corologos's Gravatar Paige Corologos
      March 13, 2017 - 9:59 am | Permalink

      I like that Canterbury kept the traditions of the community.

  11. F Pirquet's Gravatar F Pirquet
    March 13, 2017 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    Is the SEC trying to influence the outcome by use of pictures? Augustine of Hippo scowls, A of Canterbury smirks… Just askin’

  12. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 13, 2017 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    I, along with so many others, had to read Augustine’s Confessions as an undergraduate, and I came away with a sense of sin; the body is sinful. While he may be a major figure in the early church, he did not give us a model of constancy in his lack of fidelity to the mother of his child. In addition, Augustine of Hippo imposed the filioque clause on the Western church, damaging relations with the Eastern church. I was not of a mind to vote for Augustine of Hippo today, so I was glad to find Augustine of Canterbury, who synthesized pagan and Christian practices. I responded to the words of the collect: “bide your time.” While the African Augustine’s prayer may have been, “Oh Lord, give me chastity–but not now”; my prayer is always, “Oh Lord, give me patience–right now!” So I appreciate the affirmation about biding one’s time and approaching the problems of the world with patience. I know THE Augustine is a mammoth mountain in Xian history, but today I will remain on my plodding palfrey and keep trotting to Canterbury. Thanks be to God.

    • KK's Gravatar KK
      March 13, 2017 - 8:55 am | Permalink

      The filioque was first adopted in the 6th century at a regional council in Toledo, Spain and spread back toward Rome over the course of several centuries. Augustine of Hippo was long dead by then.

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        March 13, 2017 - 9:27 am | Permalink

        According to Diarmaid MacCulloch (Xity: first 3M Years), “Augustine decided that it would be wise to preserve the Spirit’s equality by asserting that the Son participated in the Spirit’s ‘proceeding’ from the Father. . . . The question came to split the imperial Church” (311). He also refers to “the ‘double procession’ of the Spirit from Father and Son, that proposition of Augustine’s which so infuriated the Byzantine Church” (340). The filioque clause seems pretty clearly to stem from Augustine.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 13, 2017 - 9:34 am | Permalink

      I will add that this is a difficult vote for me today. Augustine of Hippo is indeed a mountain of the religion. I really struggle with him though.

    • Lauren D's Gravatar Lauren D
      March 13, 2017 - 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Celia, I too read Augustine’s Confessions as an undergrad, reading a number of selections in the original Latin. It came off as a whiny diatribe to me!

    • March 13, 2017 - 11:07 pm | Permalink

      I just loved your post; it made me happy to think that there are people so well-educated and well-spoken in this world. I believe our minds are nourished by talking with intelligent people who like to indulge in the rigors of thought, as well as its delights. Or some such; I get to talking and never know how it’s going to sound. My personal saint was French, Ernest Dimnet, who gave me permission in his book, “TheArt of Thinking,” to embark on a rich self-education just by seeking superior minds to my own, by reading all the best writers I can in this life, going always to the “next most difficult book (related to my own interests in life) that I can grasp with any pleasure. ” He had come to the United States in the midst of The Great Depression, when middle America could not afford higher education, and he undertook to teach us how to earn that on our own, and to reap its civilized pleasures and joys.

      • Joy's Gravatar Joy
        March 13, 2017 - 11:40 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for sharing this!

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        March 14, 2017 - 1:17 am | Permalink

        What a great approach to life, to extend oneself and one’s thinking for growth and delight! Wish everyone had your attitude! You remind us all that “rigor of thought” and pleasure go together. Very Kantian of you.

  13. Glenis Elliott's Gravatar Glenis Elliott
    March 13, 2017 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Difficult decision, but I eventually chose the bishop of Canterbury. He did so much to spread the word and for me that is so important. Thank you for another wonderful Lent Madness season.

  14. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    March 13, 2017 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    Leaving his family responsibilities behind, even if not legally family, turned my stomach. Nothing to upset the tummy with Canterbury, plus my anglophile streak anyway.

    • Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
      March 13, 2017 - 8:43 am | Permalink

      Truth is, Augustine was, or felt, forced to abandon the love of his life, because his family wanted to him to marry a woman of the same social class. Leaving the love of his life broke his heart.

      • Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
        March 13, 2017 - 6:43 pm | Permalink

        I do like and appreciate all the great comments that continue to inform my introduction to these two Augustines. It will certainly be harder to vote if they ever face one another again in a future Lent Madness.

        Happy Lent.

    • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
      March 13, 2017 - 11:52 am | Permalink

      Augustine of Hippo didn’t abandon his son; he took care of him for life. See other comments by Freeman Gilbert.

  15. Lisa's Gravatar Lisa
    March 13, 2017 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    Augustine of Hippo gets my vote today. For those of us whose young adult years found us as tepid Christians. Rediscovering the wonder of God’s grace and being reignited with the fire of God’s unending love is a gift that cannot be contained in one’s heart, it must be shared.

    • March 13, 2017 - 11:14 pm | Permalink

      Your post, Lisa, is eloquent and joyous, and opens my mind to the wonder and fire of God’s unending love, as you put it, and reminds me that the only way to be at peace with that gift is to share it. Sharing, historically, you may agree, can and has been difficult. I myself have felt abashed at the thought of even proffering my own fragile and needy belief to anyone–though I do, if they seek help. But your post fills me with joy, and allows me to permit myself to feel the glory and fire and depth of God’s love. To me, as a parent who has lost sons, I need no stronger love to envision as God’s own for us, than what I discovered in myself for my own three sons–even if, I never served it as well as I hoped, for I wanted it to be holy and perfect.

  16. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    March 13, 2017 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    Gotta vote for Canterbury and for that “unbroken, unwavering succession of Archbishops of Canterbury,” for all the Christmas baptisms, for re-purposing the ancient temples instead of destroying them, for England! I have never been able to, um, appreciate Hippo at all; reading his “Confessions” is like chewing old leather!

  17. Sofie's Gravatar Sofie
    March 13, 2017 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    I voted Canterbury for many of the reasons cited above, but also because, if I recall correctly, it was Augustine of Hippo who introduced the notion of original sin into Christianity. Boo, hiss! Also, my grandfather was English, and I love the notion that kindness was given and received on both sides when Augustine of Canterbury arrived in Britannia.

  18. Magdiel's Gravatar Magdiel
    March 13, 2017 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    I like both but voted for Hippo. I love his story and that of his mother Monica.

  19. March 13, 2017 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    I voted for Augustine of Hippo because I have studied late Roman history extensively, and genuinely enjoyed reading the Confessions– in fact that reading encouraged me to reaffirm my Christianity after several years of agnosticism. Also, I think my vote would please his mother, who has been one of my heroines for years.

  20. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 13, 2017 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    Here’s a quote from Hippo: What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.

    • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
      March 13, 2017 - 8:46 am | Permalink

      Wonderful! Thanks for posting.

  21. Barb Gutzler's Gravatar Barb Gutzler
    March 13, 2017 - 8:35 am | Permalink

    How can I not vote for a hippo, or even a rhino? Said folk set the standards for the faith and paved the way for the future Augustines to do their missionary work. Without the hippo, there would be no canter. ❤

  22. MartyV's Gravatar MartyV
    March 13, 2017 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    Just couldn’t vote for a dead-beat dad; plus purifying instead of destroying made a lot of sense.

    • Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
      March 13, 2017 - 9:30 am | Permalink

      Augustine remained a loving father to his son who died at 16. Calling him a dead beat dad is just not so.

  23. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 13, 2017 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    Hippo spoke out and forcefully condemned hazing and bullying in school.

  24. Ruth W.Davis's Gravatar Ruth W.Davis
    March 13, 2017 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    Voted for Hipppo because of the personal change to his life. “Seized by the community ‘– tough Discernment Committee.

    • March 14, 2017 - 1:56 am | Permalink

      Made me LOL, as one who has chaired two discernment cttes.

  25. Chris's Gravatar Chris
    March 13, 2017 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    Although Augustine of Canterbury managed to win the approval of a king named Æthelberht (which is pretty cool) and was wise in the way he approached his ministry to the English people, the brilliance and broader influence of Hippo gets my vote today.

  26. March 13, 2017 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    As an Episcopalian, I feel compelled to vote for Augustine of Canterbury. And looking at their portraits, Hippo seems awfully stern looking while Canterbury seems warm and compassionate. If I arrive at the gates of Heaven and an Augustine is to judge me, I hope it would be friendly Canterbury.

  27. Debbie Northern's Gravatar Debbie Northern
    March 13, 2017 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    Went with Hippo. Worked three years at St. Augustine University of Tanzania…

  28. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 13, 2017 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    As an Anglo-Catholic Socialist, I love the following statements by Hippo:
    The superfluities of the rich are the necessities of the poor. When you possess superfluity, you possess what belongs to others. God gives the world to the poor as well as to the rich.

    Redouble your charity. For, on account of the things which each one of us possesses singly, wars exist, hatreds, discords, strifes among human beings, tumults, dissensions, scandals, sins, injustices, and murders. Why? Do we fight over the things we possess in common? We inhale this air in common with others, we all see the sun in common.

    Blessed therefore are those who make room for the Lord, so as not to take pleasure in private property. Let us therefore abstain from the possessions of private property – or from the love of it, if we cannot abstain from possession – and let us make room for the Lord.

    • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
      March 13, 2017 - 10:26 am | Permalink

      Outstanding teachings! Thanks for sharing them.

  29. Gloria Ishida's Gravatar Gloria Ishida
    March 13, 2017 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    This was another difficult one for me. I like “Hippo” for his theology and “Canterbury” for his missionary work. So voting subjectively, I “turned against” “Hippo” because he abandoned his partner and child and went for “Canterbury” because of ancestral roots in Kent (not back to his time though). Subjective, so many folks have been voting subjectively so far. First time for me, I think.

    • Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
      March 13, 2017 - 9:34 am | Permalink

      “My mistress being torn from my side as an impediment to my marriage, my heart, which clave to her, was racked, and wounded, and bleeding.”
      Augustine was pressured into abandoning his partner of 15 years, but never left his son, who died at 16.

      • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
        March 13, 2017 - 10:27 am | Permalink

        Thank you for clarifying that aspect of St. Augustine’s life.

    • pHil's Gravatar pHil
      March 13, 2017 - 12:59 pm | Permalink

      By now it should be obvious that you cannot vote against Hippo for dumping his son’s mother. However, there is a sense in which he can be suspected of “dumping” all women. His dissing of the Celtic Pelagius seems not to be simply based on any theology of sin but because Pelagius’s practice of talking theology equally with women seriously threatened the “good old boys club” that by this time been established in the Roman church leadership.

      • March 13, 2017 - 11:27 pm | Permalink

        Oh, my goodness, dear pHil, you raised a question I have to subdue over and over in myself–why doesn’t God have a mate, and why, if he is a perfect individual and example that we are created to resemble–does he have to be so resoundingly and constantly, male? The Roman church used to balance that out by offering–as does the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, an altar equally lovely to the Virgin Mary, which women might find more congenial to approach–but my last close friend in that church, found her “Mary” group of devotees, abruptly closed. That’s just an anecdote, slender indeed, on which to base a question: what happened to Mary or to the female side of God, our Father. Why, I ponder often, don’t we have a Mother? And, outside of St. Joseph, why do we not see God as expressing some divine marriage with an equally divine female being? Not just with his “bride” the church. And if motherhood is so revered as woman’s only or chief purpose in this world, why isn’t mother-love as revered in the poetry and piety of churches, as an almighty Father’s love?

  30. Elizabeth Neeld's Gravatar Elizabeth Neeld
    March 13, 2017 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    Augustine of Hippo’s comment about the heart not finding rest until it rests in God captures the human condition (and my own experience). Remembering this quote was the tipping point in my evaluation of the two men. I was drawn at the same time to the action of the Augustine who was sent to Britain–he and his fellow travelers faced fears and challenging travel conditions that must have required much personal courage (as well as obedience).

  31. Ntathu's Gravatar Ntathu
    March 13, 2017 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    My grandfather, Solomon Mbatha was the deacon at St Augustine’s Mission in Nqutu, Kwazulu – Natal. I started School at St Monica’s in Durban. I vote for my church lineage. Augustine of Hippo it is.

  32. Epo's Gravatar Epo
    March 13, 2017 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    I voted for Augustine of Canterbury.

  33. Lois Keen's Gravatar Lois Keen
    March 13, 2017 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    I don’t particularly care for either of them. Coin toss.

  34. Maryann J.'s Gravatar Maryann J.
    March 13, 2017 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    Augustine of Hippo, for me, because his writings were foundational, next to Paul, in our understanding of our core doctrines; the Trinity, the Sacraments, the Church as Community and our very human longing for God which he discovered in his own life experience. Imagine this, his intellect and leadership abilities were so remarkable that the community made him a priest, even against his will, and later a bishop. Then he went on to serve faithfully for nearly 40 more years.

  35. Joan's Gravatar Joan
    March 13, 2017 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    Canterbury – he acknowledged cultural and local traditions. No to Hippo because he abandoned his child.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 13, 2017 - 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Actually that is explained in other comments above – son went with him to Rome and died at age 16.

  36. March 13, 2017 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    This is probably the most complicated decision in all of the years I have participated in Madness…. Do I honor the centuries of theological dialogue, or the tradition of the Anglican branch. I went with Tradition…. the philosopher theologian would understand.

  37. John's Gravatar John
    March 13, 2017 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    Well . . . had to go with our Anglican progenitor, mainly because he worked to transform pagan Kentish customs, rather than replace them. And the Queen liked him. And the work he began at Canterbury is still there!

  38. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 13, 2017 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    Here’s another quote from Hippo about social justice:

    Remove justice, and what are kingdoms but gangs of criminals on a large scale? What are criminal gangs but petty kingdoms? A gang is a group of men under the command of a leader, bound by a compact of association, in which the plunder is divided according to an agreed convention.

    If this villainy wins so many recruits from the ranks of the demoralized that it acquires territory, establishes a base, captures cities and subdues peoples, it then openly arrogates to itself the title of kingdom, which is conferred on it in the eyes of the world, not by the renouncing of aggression but by the attainment of impunity.

    For it was a witty and truthful rejoinder which was given by a captured pirate to Alexander the Great. The king asked the fellow, “What is your idea, in infesting the sea?” And the pirate answered, with uninhibited insolence, “The same as yours, in infesting the earth! But because I do it with a tiny craft, I’m called a pirate; because you have a mighty navy, you’re called an emperor.”

    • March 13, 2017 - 9:50 am | Permalink

      What an excellent observation. Thank you for sharing.

    • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
      March 13, 2017 - 10:31 am | Permalink

      A lesson much needed for our time. Thanks!

  39. Florida Missy's Gravatar Florida Missy
    March 13, 2017 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    Had to go with Canterbury on this one…the abandoning of the woman who had his son left a bad taste in my mouth for Hippo.

    • Kathleen's Gravatar Kathleen
      March 13, 2017 - 10:01 am | Permalink

      That played a large part in my decision today, also. Went with Canterbury.

    • Emily's Gravatar Emily
      March 13, 2017 - 10:04 am | Permalink

      Wow. How prescient.

    • Sara L's Gravatar Sara L
      March 13, 2017 - 10:27 am | Permalink

      I’m glad I read through the comments first, as that was my initial thought, too.
      But A.H. did not abandon his child, though Hippo’s family forced him to leave his partner.

  40. Judith Nichols's Gravatar Judith Nichols
    March 13, 2017 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    Tough decision today, but Hippo edged out due to this:
    “against his own will—he was seized by the community around him and ordained as a priest.”

  41. Dawn Ramstad's Gravatar Dawn Ramstad
    March 13, 2017 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    I went with Augustine of Hippo for his ongoing influence, but appreciated Augustin of Canterbury for his work in renewing the church. Perhaps next year he will be in a more favorable bracket. Also, has St Monica already won already Golden Halo, or can those of us who mother other Augustines look forward to her presence in Lent Madness as we pray with her for our offspring ?

  42. Jackson Day's Gravatar Jackson Day
    March 13, 2017 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    Despite some admiration for his confessions and impact on the Church, I voted against Hippo because I didn’t know what he had done to reconcile with his son after he left the son’s mother.

    • Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
      March 13, 2017 - 9:07 am | Permalink

      Actually, Hippo retained custody of his son, who sadly died at age 16.

  43. Jane Christmas's Gravatar Jane Christmas
    March 13, 2017 - 9:00 am | Permalink

    Dumping his gal and son so he could go off to find himself/greater glory? Augustine of Hippo is not the first saint to be jerk, but that said I’m going with Canterbury on this one.

    • Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
      March 13, 2017 - 9:11 am | Permalink

      Saying stuff doesn’t make it so. Hippo moved to Milan with his partner when he assumed one of the most prestigious academic positions of the time. He did indeed accept the arranged marriage prepared for him by his family, but here’s how he felt about it: “My mistress being torn from my side as an impediment to my marriage, my heart, which clave to her, was racked, and wounded, and bleeding.”

    • Sister Mary Winifred's Gravatar Sister Mary Winifred
      March 13, 2017 - 9:28 am | Permalink

      He didn’t “dump” them . . . the bio is misleading.

  44. March 13, 2017 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    So, is it pronounced OG-US-TUN or OG-US-TEEN?
    Bitter controversy over this!

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 13, 2017 - 9:31 am | Permalink

      You’re a rabble-rouser, Harlie.

    • Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
      March 13, 2017 - 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Canterbury is Uh-GUS-TUN, Hippo is OG-US-TEEN.

      • Jules's Gravatar Jules
        March 13, 2017 - 4:30 pm | Permalink

        I’m with Freeman Gilbert on this. 🙂

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        March 13, 2017 - 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Needle: nicely threaded.

      • March 13, 2017 - 7:49 pm | Permalink

        Freeman, now that I say it over and over again, I realize you’re right…It’s UH-gus-tun, not OG-us-tun. Also, I’ve heard before that Uh-gus-tun was Canterbury and Og-us-teen was Hippo, but I wasn’t sure it was true. Your answer (and Jules’s) inclines me now to think it is.

  45. Isabel Stanley's Gravatar Isabel Stanley
    March 13, 2017 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    Augustine of Canterbury is admirable for incorporating old customs into what was new Christianity for the English. I also don’t like the way Augustine of Hippo threw off his wife (under his previous beliefs) and son. He seems to have had a problem with women once he got religion.

    • Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
      March 13, 2017 - 9:25 am | Permalink

      Problem is, he didn’t abandon his son. His son lived with him until his premature death at 16.

      • Sister Mary Winifred's Gravatar Sister Mary Winifred
        March 13, 2017 - 9:30 am | Permalink

        Thank you . . . wish David Sibley would correct this information!

  46. Mary L. Miers's Gravatar Mary L. Miers
    March 13, 2017 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the hardest choice yet, but went with Hippo because of the breadth and continuity of his influence.
    Also because of the necklace my daughters gave me when I embarked on the Camino de Santiago:
    Solvitur ambulando (it is solved by walking.) Worked for me.

  47. Joanne's Gravatar Joanne
    March 13, 2017 - 9:11 am | Permalink

    It’s Hippo’s Day! St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron saint of St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, NC., Bishop Delany’s college (March 3).

  48. Brixham Beth's Gravatar Brixham Beth
    March 13, 2017 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    Definitely Canterbury, not just Pelagius but Hippo’s attitude to women in general just encouraged the sidelining of women down the centuries, which we in England are only beginning to overcome, I vote for Canterbury and for women in ministry.

  49. Paul's Gravatar Paul
    March 13, 2017 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    Canterbury; wrote one of my first learned papers on Gregory the Great. Resonated to Gregory’s instructions and Augustine’s practice to not destroy local practices and buildings, but to show a better way. Could we make the argument that this is what Jesus did with the energy, education, and zealousness of Saul of Tarsus?

  50. Michael Shea's Gravatar Michael Shea
    March 13, 2017 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    I voted for Hippo because I’m a LUTHERAN! — and I graduated from Augustana (Rock Island) — SO THERE!

    • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
      March 13, 2017 - 10:43 am | Permalink

      So happy to see that the madness extends beyond the Episcopal Church! Yay for ecumenism! Welcome Lutherans!

      • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
        March 13, 2017 - 12:44 pm | Permalink

        I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more Lutherans once we get to a certain bracket.

  51. March 13, 2017 - 9:23 am | Permalink

    Went with Hippo because this is one of my favorite quotes:
    You called, you cried, you shattered my deafness.
    You sparkled, you blazed, you drove away my blindness.
    You shed your fragrance, and I drew in my breath, and I pant for you.
    I tasted and now I hunger and thirst.
    You touched me, and now I burn with longing for your peace.

  52. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    March 13, 2017 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    I voted for Hippo because he is one of those people without whom the Church would be very different from the Church we know: had he not flourished, it’s unlikely that someone else would have thought his thoughts or written his words. As to those ideas with which we may disagree: I’m not a theologian, but a quick Wikiwhirl suggests that Augustine was far from being the only exponent of the filioque doctrine, and that in his time it wasn’t considered heretical or even necessarily opposed to the idea of procession from the Father, more like a gloss on the meaning of that doctrine.

    I also don’t think his regrettable and later regretted conduct before his conversion should be held against him, any more than that of Francis of Assisi and many others — I mean, isn’t that sort of the point of conversion, and hasn’t misbehavior preceded many of the most dramatic conversions and subsequent zealously dedicated lives?

    With Canterbury, great though he was, I get the sense from the bio that a lot of the credit for his mission goes to the guidance and indeed prodding of Gregory the Great. I also wonder whether the introduction and spread of Christianity in England weren’t inevitable, and that if Augustine hadn’t been available someone else would have undertaken and accomplished the task not long after he did. I say this not to disparage the Cantabrigian but to contrast his place in history with the unique role played by his Hipponian namesake.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      March 13, 2017 - 9:37 am | Permalink

      It also seems (Wiki again) that in the course of the Pelagian controversy Augustine wrote Pelagius a character reference even as he vehemently opposed his theological position.

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 13, 2017 - 1:27 pm | Permalink

        I have no ethnic horse in this: they were both Italian. (Back when North Africa still counted as Italian, or at least Italic.)

    • Mary Mainwaring's Gravatar Mary Mainwaring
      March 13, 2017 - 11:41 am | Permalink

      where is Oliver when I need his insight?

      • Jules's Gravatar Jules
        March 13, 2017 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Up at the top! He said, “I voted for Saint Augustine of Canterbury because he converted the English.” 😀

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 13, 2017 - 5:58 pm | Permalink

      Davis, you’re back! Missed you! But you are making up for it with lots of words! New avi and everything!

      • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
        March 15, 2017 - 12:15 pm | Permalink

        I sort of stumbled into the avi by accident, in connection with a church-sponsored trip to South Africa. Thinking that what I was doing was specific to that group, I posted a picture of myself wearing Zulu face paint and was amazed when it appeared next to my first LM comment. That shut me up for several days, until I could figure out how to change it.

  53. Ellis T. Bowerfind's Gravatar Ellis T. Bowerfind
    March 13, 2017 - 9:26 am | Permalink

    Too bad the inaccurate implication of child abandonment in Hippo’s bio led to so many votes against him. Canterbury’s only real claim is his office. Ethelbert allied with Rome for political reasons and most likely converts were expressing fealty to their king. Meanwhile Hippo’s lifelong struggle for truth and his amazing insights into the love of God are the primary reason for his extreme position on sin. To elevate and glorify the love of God he humbled the role of humanity. It is amazing how a man so passionate about human and divine love and so faithful to both with such an incomparable body of work still inspiring and teaching the church today could come across to so many as less important than a man known only for holding a title.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 13, 2017 - 9:43 am | Permalink

      You make good points.

    • Sara L's Gravatar Sara L
      March 13, 2017 - 10:46 am | Permalink

      This is the comment that turned my vote to A of H. May I quote you on my facebook page posting for Lent Madness today, Ellis of Bowerfind?
      This and Freeman Gilbert’s measured defense of Hippo. I’m against ‘fake news.’

  54. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 13, 2017 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    A of Canterbury.

  55. Jill Brogneaux's Gravatar Jill Brogneaux
    March 13, 2017 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    I was very impressed by Augustine of Hippo, but as a Kentish Maid I had to go with Canterbury

  56. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    March 13, 2017 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    Had to think hard about this but Canterbury, because purifying pagan sites instead of destroying them was like the forerunner to upcycled housing.

  57. Christine's Gravatar Christine
    March 13, 2017 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    This is a toughie! I love both because they were, in the end, both willing to heed God’s call and travel, literally or metaphorically, to do so. I did vote for Augustine of Hippo because his Confessions resonate with me in his vulnerability and earnestness. Augustine of Canterbury traveled to a strange land to love the people there. He’s also at least indirectly responsible for some of my favorite literature. Without him, would we have had Chaucer’s wonderful tales?

  58. Michael Spring's Gravatar Michael Spring
    March 13, 2017 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    Gus of Hippo leaves a dark residue of misogyny wherever his otherwise brilliant theology goes; gotta go for Gus of Canterbury.

  59. Diane Roehl's Gravatar Diane Roehl
    March 13, 2017 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    I can so relate to Canterbury’s fear of traveling to Britain. Our first trip was to Canterbury and driving on the wrong side on those country roads was scary. It was a very prayerful trip – in the car and at the Cathedral!

  60. Fran's Gravatar Fran
    March 13, 2017 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    The pictures of each saint turned my vote toward Augustine of Canterbury. Plus, the “unconstrained” life for 15 years then converting back to Christianity is admirable, the fact that “Canterbury” incorporated the local traditions in his conversion of the locals wins my admiration. AofC all the way!

  61. Emily Correll's Gravatar Emily Correll
    March 13, 2017 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    Canterbury’s arrogance toward the British church that was already there caused a lot of problems. I also agree that Gregory was the prime mover of the conversion of the Angles. (Sorry, I read Bede.) I had to go with Hippo in spite of some reservations.

  62. Patrice's Gravatar Patrice
    March 13, 2017 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    I’m confused. The write-up says Augustine of Hippo “abandoned his relationship,” and in a tight race a detail like this is critical. Other contributors suggest he maintained the relationship, at least until his son tragically died at 16. Since I’m not a religious historian or theologian, I am dependent upon the information presented in the brief bios. I cannot vote in good conscience until I know the truth. Please help.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      March 13, 2017 - 9:44 am | Permalink

      He broke off with his mistress (though I believe they had some sort of contractual relationship), and she went back to Africa, left their son in Augustine’s care.

  63. Jeanine's Gravatar Jeanine
    March 13, 2017 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    I read comments – and learned a lot! I just voted and honestly cannot remember who I voted for…because my mind kept changing. Thanks to all of you who contribute your knowledge to a broader understanding of the saints – part of the reason I love Lent Madness.

  64. Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
    March 13, 2017 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    I greatly admire Augustine of Hippo – but being Episcopalian, seems I must vote for Augustine of Canterbury.

  65. Victoria Goss's Gravatar Victoria Goss
    March 13, 2017 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    Hippo, because he learned along the way, chose his path (NOT abandoning his son as others have noted), followed Christ, studied and wrote his thoughts, and was clearly such a good teacher that
    others wanted him to lead them. He led a long life and did much for the glory of God and the Church.
    Canterbury, however, was much prodded and influenced by Pope Gregory, and his greatest claim to fame seems to be that he was the first of many in a long and unbroken chain.

  66. Aleathia Dolores Nicholson's Gravatar Aleathia Dolores Nicholson
    March 13, 2017 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    A mother’s love and prayers for a reprobate son reached Almighty God who converted Augustine of Hippo. She probably had calluses on her knees but God heard her pleas. Also, thee is my mother’s alma mater: St. Augustine’s in Raleigh NC of Delany fame. He won’t win today but he will in my heart.

  67. Kathryn's Gravatar Kathryn
    March 13, 2017 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    I believe that Augustin of C was responsible for squelching Celtic Christianity so A of H is my man

    • pHil's Gravatar pHil
      March 13, 2017 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Maybe, but Hippo probably did just as much to squelch Celtic Christianity. We can’t set up black vs white miters on this one. Nor any LM contest, I’d surmise.

      • Phil's Gravatar Phil
        March 13, 2017 - 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Actually while Augustine of C brought Roman Catholicism to Britain, it was the Celtic Bishops who elected voluntarily to become part of a broader Church believing it to be one. The Roman Catholics had no idea Celtic Christianity. The Synod of Witby was the place of this voluntary act.

        • pHil's Gravatar pHil
          March 14, 2017 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

          I was not referring to England. Hippo squelched the influence of Celtic Christianity IN ROME by silencing Pelagius who had gone there to study and teach.

          • Phil's Gravatar Phil
            March 14, 2017 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

            Yes your right Austin of Hippo did squelch Celtic Chrustianity while Pelagius was I. rom in the late 300s. I thought you were saying Augustine of C squelched Celtic Chrustianity in Britain late.

  68. Mike Bond's Gravatar Mike Bond
    March 13, 2017 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    Had to go with Hippo. His conversion was not unlike my own.

  69. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 13, 2017 - 9:55 am | Permalink

    Here’s a lovely saying by Augustine of Hippo:

    I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are wise and very beautiful; but I have never read in either of them: Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden.

  70. Vicki Hughrs's Gravatar Vicki Hughrs
    March 13, 2017 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    For many reasons i am not an Augustin of Hippo fan. Part is of course the relationship issue, but more importantly i find some of his theology disturbing – double predestination to mind does seem to be part of his thinking. I had a Jesuit professor who tried to argue that it wasn’t ‘truly Augustinian’ because it arose from fear as the Vandals were, at the time of that particular writing, trying to invade Hippo. I personally don’t feel this carries a lot of weight as an excuse. He also sounds so sanctimonious sometimes. Now, if he were the patron saint of hippos, i might lean a different way- but today i’m going with Augustin of Canterbury.

    • Erin's Gravatar Erin
      March 14, 2017 - 3:19 am | Permalink

      Too true. I would have voted for him if he was the patron saint of hippos as well. BTW do hippos have their own patron saint

  71. Joe Stroud's Gravatar Joe Stroud
    March 13, 2017 - 10:02 am | Permalink

    What Jeanine said! (I DO remember voting for Augustine of Canterbury in this very tough matchup, partly I confess, because of my affection for Canterbury). But, as posted in an earlier comment, A of C’s respect for indigenous culture as he spread the gospel tipped the balance for me. I would do well to remember that spreading the Love of God is different from spreading my own myopic view of how others should dress/think/act/talk.

    • Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
      March 13, 2017 - 10:44 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Too many cultures have been erased or greatly diminished by missionaries who sullied the Gospel by preaching their own cultural trappings along with it.

  72. Denise Evans's Gravatar Denise Evans
    March 13, 2017 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    A shout out to Neva Rae Fox for starting out her bio on Augustine of Canterbury with “details of Augustine’s early life are sketchy.” That caught my attention and I was impressed with his willingness to let the Kentish people hold on to some of their traditions and culture.

  73. Molly's Gravatar Molly
    March 13, 2017 - 10:16 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t vote for a man who abandoned his child. Canterbury for me.

    • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
      March 13, 2017 - 10:49 am | Permalink

      He didn’t abandon his son! See previous comments. A of H cared for his son for the son’s entire life.

  74. March 13, 2017 - 10:22 am | Permalink

    No contest. St Augustine’s brilliance just shines through.. the greatest mind after St. Paul indeed, especially in articulation of the Trinity… perhaps the greatest insight into the nature of reality that we Christians have to offer.
    It’s early in the day… come on Hippoites….

  75. March 13, 2017 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    Canterbury, because I am English, and the unbroken chain of Archbishops of Catpnterbury starts here. Hippo is certainly more important to the global Church, but I know a bit about him, and would like to learn more about his namesake in England.

  76. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 13, 2017 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    A of Hippo: I was much impacted and blessed by his prayer “that God keep us restless until we find our rest in Thee”. This came during one of my more restless periods of life.

  77. March 13, 2017 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    Tough choice–I liked what I learned about Augustine of Canterbury. But, I have a soft spot for Augustine of Hippo. I remember when a sister student was reading an excerpt from his confessions, and all of a sudden she threw the book down in disgust with an exclamation. When I asked what was going on, she said, “Well, he started talking about the ‘misty passions of the concupiscent flesh’ and I thought he was going to confess something juicy, and instead he talks about lusting after an apple in the neighbor’s orchard. Good grief!” After that, we had a running joke for a while about the “misty passions of the concupiscent flesh.” Another quote of his that I love is “Give me chastity and give me constancy, but do not give them yet.”

  78. Phil's Gravatar Phil
    March 13, 2017 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    I voted for the Canterbury Augustine because well Pelagius would want it that way for the Anglicans. When will Pelagius make the Kenten brackets?

  79. Mike Eck's Gravatar Mike Eck
    March 13, 2017 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    Hippo …. How could you abandon your child? Is that true or Fake News? We can forgive him, but not till Lent Madness is over. Canterbury gets my vote.

    • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
      March 13, 2017 - 10:51 am | Permalink

      Untrue. See previous comments.

    • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
      March 13, 2017 - 11:46 am | Permalink

      A of Hippo didn’t abandon his son. See other comments.

  80. Bob Duvall's Gravatar Bob Duvall
    March 13, 2017 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    Gus Hippo gets my vote. I can’t wait to see the movie.

    • Brenda McHenry's Gravatar Brenda McHenry
      March 13, 2017 - 11:08 am | Permalink

      When they make the movie I hope they include the scene where he is seized by the community and forced–perhaps kicking and screaming–into the church to be ordained. I’m afraid I had to go with “Gus” Canterbury, despite his being scared off going to England by the Gallians . (sp?)

  81. Edwina's Gravatar Edwina
    March 13, 2017 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    My love for Canterbury tells me I must vote for St. Augustine of Canterbury,

  82. Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
    March 13, 2017 - 10:45 am | Permalink

    I thought I would vote for A. of Canterbury, but David Sibley won me over to A. of Hippo, even with the misleading part about “abandoning” his family. I was especially impressed with the Collect — thanks, David.

  83. Heather's Gravatar Heather
    March 13, 2017 - 10:46 am | Permalink

    Most of our family is voting for Augustine of Hippo. Because I abbreviated him “A Hippo” while helping a child fill out a bracket. Now it matters very little what either Augustine did- my kids are just hoping for a big win for A Hippo!

  84. March 13, 2017 - 10:48 am | Permalink

    As a good Episcopalian, I probably should have voted for Canterbury, but Augustine of Hippo has long been one of my favorites, so I cast my vote for him. His life is a reminder that no matter how far we might stray from God, we can always come back. In the inimitable words of my long-departed Granny, “You can be saved between the saddle and the ground!”

    Now I must go campaign on Facebook!

  85. Dutton in Madison, GA's Gravatar Dutton in Madison, GA
    March 13, 2017 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    As an Anglican Anglophile, I am certainly drawn to A of C, but who can resist the cry of a young man Lord make me chaste but not yet. Actually, Hippo gets my vote because he became one of the primary theologians of the church, still a major influence today.

  86. Doctorjan's Gravatar Doctorjan
    March 13, 2017 - 10:50 am | Permalink

    Can help track down Augustine of Hippo’s kid’s lineage? Voted for Gus of Canterbury. Glad he christened some of the old pagan ways. They are a lot of fun.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 13, 2017 - 2:52 pm | Permalink

      His son died at age 16 according to earlier comments.

  87. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    March 13, 2017 - 10:52 am | Permalink

    For Augustine of Hippo and Augustine of Canterbury
    St. Flavian, Hymnal ’82, 142 (Lord, who throughout these 40 days)

    Two saints who share a common name
    And share our common faith;
    And though they’re wildly different folk
    They help us still today.

    The one from Hippo’s name looms huge,
    (His hometown’s name is apt!)
    Defined so much that still is taught
    He was one clever chap.

    He spoke his truth, confessed his faults,
    And tried to hide and pray.
    Duty called and he obeyed
    The rest is history.

    A faithful monk was sent to lead
    And serve where pagans reigned.
    Where Christ was barely known or served
    His fears he had to tame.

    He worked with gentleness so wise,
    With love and courtesy.
    His kindness and compassion is
    The wisdom that we need.

    One note I’d add to SEC;
    You’ve dealt us a tough blow!
    To choose between such worthy saints
    Is trying, don’t you know?

    • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
      March 13, 2017 - 11:44 am | Permalink

      What a fine new hymn!

    • Doctorjan's Gravatar Doctorjan
      March 13, 2017 - 2:28 pm | Permalink


    • March 14, 2017 - 2:19 am | Permalink

      Hooray to Diana for another fine hymn.

  88. Joyce in Madison. GA's Gravatar Joyce in Madison. GA
    March 13, 2017 - 10:53 am | Permalink

    Hard choice, but I was finally influenced by Augustine of Hippo’s “profound sense of the community of the Church and of all its members.” My faith is dependent on the “community” of the faithful. Atta’ boy, Augie H.

  89. Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
    March 13, 2017 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    A of Hippo’s son died at sixteen so he is unlikely to have left descendants. BTW A of H took care of his son for life.

  90. JOAN OGDEN's Gravatar JOAN OGDEN
    March 13, 2017 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    I could not bring myself to vote for a man who abandoned his child and the child’s mother.

    • Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
      March 13, 2017 - 11:32 am | Permalink

      I think it’s not right to say that Augustine abandoned his son that he took care of his entire life, especially when the son died early at 16. It’s a terrible loss for a parent to outlive their child, and then to be falsely accused.

    • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
      March 13, 2017 - 11:43 am | Permalink

      A of Hippo didn’t abandon his son — see comments.

  91. Gail Davis's Gravatar Gail Davis
    March 13, 2017 - 11:02 am | Permalink

    Canterbury. Never did care for Hippo’s original sin view, which, in my mind, has caused more than enough trouble through the ages.

  92. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 13, 2017 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    Augustine of Hippo speaking again:
    “Do not grieve or complain that you were born in a time when you can no longer see God in the flesh.
    He did not in fact take this privilege from you. As He says: ‘Whatever you have done to the least of
    my brothers, you did to me.’”

  93. Cheryl L Nix's Gravatar Cheryl L Nix
    March 13, 2017 - 11:10 am | Permalink

    I’m not a fan of the original sin concept, so it’s Augustine of Canterbury for me.

  94. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 13, 2017 - 11:14 am | Permalink

    For the first time this Lent I have qualms about both Augustines. Hippo abandoned his child and partner, Canterbury really didn’t want to be here…. In the end I opted for Canterbury, but have to say I am whelmed 🙂

    • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
      March 13, 2017 - 11:31 am | Permalink

      Hippo didn’t abandon his son — see comments above.

  95. Barbara Bley's Gravatar Barbara Bley
    March 13, 2017 - 11:16 am | Permalink

    I chose A of Hippo more in oppossion to A of Canterbury because the later was elemental
    In destroying the Celtic church during the synod of Whitby.

    • Jules's Gravatar Jules
      March 13, 2017 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Correction – Augustine of Canterbury died 60 years before the Synod of Whitby. He may have come to Britain as a representative of the Latin Church, but that doesn’t make him responsible for the outcome of a synod six decades after his death.

  96. March 13, 2017 - 11:17 am | Permalink

    Since I am one of the (hopefully not few) non-Anglicans in the Lent Madness community, it behooves me to vote for Hippo. I figured Canterbury was a shoo-in. Also because I appreciate Aug/Hippo’s theological work, although I regret the use to which some of it has been put by my arch-nemesis, Calvin of Geneva (not Calvin of Hobbes.) Also because it behooves us to remember the ancient churches of North Africa.

  97. Grace Cangialosi's Gravatar Grace Cangialosi
    March 13, 2017 - 11:19 am | Permalink

    Well, I’m feeling stupid, because the way this comes up on my screen, I thought you had to cast your vote before you could see the comments! I always figured it was so you wouldn’t be influenced by others. But today, reading through so many comments, I see I was wrong; they are more of a discussion. Ah well…
    Having said all that, I had already voted for Hippo. I figured he laid so much of the groundwork for those who would come later, including Canterbury.

    • Judy A's Gravatar Judy A
      March 13, 2017 - 2:27 pm | Permalink

      What, we can see comments before voting? I am in same boat with Grace, always good to be accompanied by Grace.

      I would still vote for A of H.

      • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
        March 13, 2017 - 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Yep, just scroll on down below the voting button and read on.

    • March 14, 2017 - 2:25 am | Permalink

      I generally read the comments before voting, because they share more info than our Celebrity Bloggers can fit into their posts.

  98. John Frantz's Gravatar John Frantz
    March 13, 2017 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    How could David Sibley in his write up on Augustine of Hippo not include Hippo’s authorship of “The City of God”? Many consider the work one of the most important books in Western civilization.

  99. Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
    March 13, 2017 - 11:29 am | Permalink

    Sorry to see that people are voting against St. Augustine of Hippo because of their erroneous belief that he abandoned his son. Also, it seems unfair to vote for St. Augustine of Canterbury because of Pope Gregory’s policy of incorporating pagan traditions into Christianity.

    I was inclined to A of Hippo because he’s associated with the Virgin of Regla. (Google to learn more.) His teachings on poverty and social justice, quoted in some of the comments above, are powerfully persuasive.

  100. Walker Shaw's Gravatar Walker Shaw
    March 13, 2017 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    Voted Canterbury for getting things done rather than Hippo for documenting his ideas. And yes I know that Hippo was the greatest theologian ever, sure sure. But Canterbury established Christianity in Great Britain with amazing zeal and efficiency.

  101. Kathy Romain's Gravatar Kathy Romain
    March 13, 2017 - 11:31 am | Permalink

    Augustine of Hippo is the patron saint of my home parish in Oakland, CA so, of course, I voted for him.

  102. Celia Metz's Gravatar Celia Metz
    March 13, 2017 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    As a member of St. Augustine’s in The Woods Episcopal Church in Freeland, WA I have to vote for our namesake, Augustine of Canterbury!

  103. Robert Andrews-Bryant's Gravatar Robert Andrews-Bryant
    March 13, 2017 - 11:37 am | Permalink

    Well, I voted Canterbury. In years past I might have gone Hippo. No question he vastly influenced Western Theology, for good or ill, down to today. It is the “ill” that swayed me. Original sin? Nope! Just war? Please! On the positive side, there is Canterbury inventing (?) inculturation. Plus I had the privilege of worshipping at Christ Church, Canterbury, on Easter Day 2009.

  104. Sandra's Gravatar Sandra
    March 13, 2017 - 11:38 am | Permalink

    When I think of Augustine of Hippo, the quotation, “For Thou hast made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee” (Confession 1:1). So I Voted for him even though I disagree with some of his thoughts. In him, I see a real human being who allowed the Holy Spirit to change him and was not afraid to let that show. For example, even though he gave up his relationship with his common-law wife for the wrong reasons (and with the apparent support of both his mother and Ambrose of Milan) it clearly affected him, and he later wrote that, if a man “takes a woman only for a time, until he has found another who better suits his rank and fortune; and if he marries another woman, because she is of the same class as himself, this man commits adultery in his heart, not to his upper-class bride, but to the woman with whom he had lived without offering marriage” (On the Good of Marriage 5.5). I also appreciate that he maintained a close relationship with his son.

  105. Lilly's Gravatar Lilly
    March 13, 2017 - 11:39 am | Permalink

    I believe Monica is spelled Monica and NOT Monica, besides that everything is great!! Keep Lent Madness awesome!!!!!!

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 13, 2017 - 2:58 pm | Permalink

      I think you mean spelled M-o-n-n-i-c-a . . . darn auto-co-wreck. 😉

      • Lilly's Gravatar Lilly
        March 13, 2017 - 6:21 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that was an autocorrection. My sincere apologies for mid-spelling a mid-spelling of my favorite saint’s name.

      • Lilly's Gravatar Lilly
        March 13, 2017 - 6:32 pm | Permalink

        *misspelling *misspelling

  106. March 13, 2017 - 11:40 am | Permalink

    How can I not vote for Canterbury being in love with all things Celtic and being a Celtic Christian myself. Spreading Christianity to the wild Brits while using their own rituals is very smart.

  107. March 13, 2017 - 11:43 am | Permalink

    Every ballot should have the option of a tie!

  108. The Rev. C. Brent Hoy-Bianchi's Gravatar The Rev. C. Brent Hoy-Bianchi
    March 13, 2017 - 11:44 am | Permalink

    My vote was clearly partisan, being a Lutheran. I voted for Augustine of Hippo.

  109. Meredith Hales's Gravatar Meredith Hales
    March 13, 2017 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    Very tough choice for me today! I’m such an Anglophile and love the story of A of C. But A of Hippo is such a giant of the faith, plus the prayers of his mother, St. Monica , who prayed fervently for his conversion, swayed me. She has always been a favorite of mine.

  110. Mindy Duryea's Gravatar Mindy Duryea
    March 13, 2017 - 11:54 am | Permalink

    I was going to vote against Augustine of Hippo no matter what. I consider that he did far more damage to Christianity than good. He only so the depraved nature of people. I have always theorized that his own struggles with addiction (likely sexual) made him believe that everyone has that level of struggle. There was room in the church for both Augustine and Pelagian thought…. in other words Roman AND Celtic. And I believe that he was the downfall of Celtic Christianity within the church which was a massive loss to all. Happy to vote in his stead for a defender of the Celts!

  111. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    March 13, 2017 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    Given my distaste for academic theology and my love of any and all things British (except Brexit), it’s Canterbury for me. My idea of theology is C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, and I’ve heard that some of Hippo’s ideas were, shall we say, controversial. Not that there’s anything wrong with controversy, mind you, but I use that term to avoid more unpleasant ones.

  112. Brian of Thomaston's Gravatar Brian of Thomaston
    March 13, 2017 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    Seized and ordained! I love it.

  113. Deborah Giordano's Gravatar Deborah Giordano
    March 13, 2017 - 11:57 am | Permalink

    All-in for Augustine of Hippo. Why? We all have faults. We all face temptations. ‘Our hearts are restless, until they rest in thee’

  114. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    March 13, 2017 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    In addition, I like Augustine’s saving and assimilating some of the pagan practices and retaining some of the cultural traditions. Smart move.

  115. Corry's Gravatar Corry
    March 13, 2017 - 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got my difficulties with Augustine of Hippo, sure enough. And Augustine of Canterbury has my admiration. But here is why I voted for Hippo, from his Confessions:
    What is it then that I love when I love you? Not bodily beauty, and not temporal glory, not the clear shining light, lovely as it is to our eyes, not the sweet melodies of many-moded songs, not the soft smell of flowers and ointments and perfumes, not manna and honey, not limbs made for the body’s embrace, not these do I love when I love my God.

    Yet I do love a certain light, a certain voice, a certain odor, a certain food, a certain embrace when I love my God: a light, a voice, an odor, a food, an embrace for the man within me, where his light, which no embrace can contain, floods into my soul; where he utters words that time does not speed away; where he sends forth an aroma that no wind can scatter; where he provides food that no eating can lessen; where he so clings that satiety does not sunder us. This is what I love when I love my God.”

  116. Mrs. B.'s Gravatar Mrs. B.
    March 13, 2017 - 12:14 pm | Permalink

    As a cradle Episcopalian, I prayed to St. Monica to convert my unaffiliated fourth son. In her wisdom, St. Monica converted my properly raised third son into the Roman Catholic Church. Never question St. Monica’s ability to separate St. Augustine from his true love.

  117. Beth Owen's Gravatar Beth Owen
    March 13, 2017 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Canterbury…at least he didn’t (as far as we know) abandon a mother and child

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 13, 2017 - 3:27 pm | Permalink

      See previous comments above about A of H’s son. A got custody, but boy died at age 16.

  118. Jim's Gravatar Jim
    March 13, 2017 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

    While Augustine of Hippo had a greater influence on the whole church, as an Episcopalian, I voted for Augustine of Canterbury. A tough choice. His respect for local traditions in bring them more in line with the Roman traditions, created the English version of the Faith that I embrace.

  119. March 13, 2017 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Tough one, but I had to go with Canterbury. I particularly like the way he uses local culture and traditions to bring in people to church? Isn’t that the Anglican way?
    There’s just something about Gloomy Gus of Hippo that puts me off.

  120. Dr Paul's Gravatar Dr Paul
    March 13, 2017 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Style leads me to choose Augustine of Hippo over Augustine of Canterbury. Ach, du lieber Augustine. Wherever he learned that ingratiating style, his writing leaves a clear and friendly voice from the gathering gloom of the Dark Ages. In most matters he was something of a jerk. He earned his spurs as a theologian by attacking Pelagius, a very popular preacher from the British church. Pelagius was a follower of Saint Martin of Tours and the inspiration of Saint Patrick, whose church of Ireland spread Christianity back to England and to most of northern Europe in the following centuries.

  121. Lilly's Gravatar Lilly
    March 13, 2017 - 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Correction: I meant Monnica which is NOT how to spell St. Monica, mother of St Augustine of Hippo’s name…

  122. Rich Johnson's Gravatar Rich Johnson
    March 13, 2017 - 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Still sticking with the underdogs in Augustine of Hippo. Plus the names of Saintsz to whom I’m related. Hippos’ story is unique.

  123. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    March 13, 2017 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Definitely Christian but with heavy pagan leanings here – Canterbury it is!

  124. Peter's Gravatar Peter
    March 13, 2017 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

    On a lighter note from much of what has been written here: in the wonderful spoof history “1066 and all that” the authors translate the famous “quote” “Non angli sed angeli” (which is reputed to have been said by Pope Gregory on seeing a group of fair-haired British slaves, inspiring Augustine’s mission to Kent,) as “Not angels but Anglicans”

    • Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
      March 13, 2017 - 12:56 pm | Permalink


  125. Anne Clayton's Gravatar Anne Clayton
    March 13, 2017 - 12:55 pm | Permalink

    I went with the first archbishop of Canterbury because he converted the Brits. God knows what things might have been like if he had not. Also pretty thrilled about him leaving traditions in place. That’s very important.

  126. Rilla Holmes's Gravatar Rilla Holmes
    March 13, 2017 - 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Hippo because the Trinity.

  127. Mac's Gravatar Mac
    March 13, 2017 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

    2 important figures in our faith, but found it hard to vote against the symbolic Anglican!

  128. Lauren D's Gravatar Lauren D
    March 13, 2017 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

    After reading selections of the Confessions in Latin during college, I’m glad to be reminded that there’s another Augustine to whom I can relate! (Sorry, but A of Hippo’s Confessions struck me as very whiny and self-loathing!) A of Canterbury converted my ancestors, preserved the ancient buildings that I love to visit, and even utilized an old Roman basilica to build his parish around. I got to sing in Canterbury Cathedral with my college choir, too, so Canterbury it is!

  129. March 13, 2017 - 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Augustine of Hippo simply because I have been teaching a term at the new St. Augustine Theological School of the Anglican Diocese of Botswana since the school’s founding in 2012, and that’s Augustine of Hippo. School loyalty prevails!

  130. Grace Kennedy's Gravatar Grace Kennedy
    March 13, 2017 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

    My favorite quote from Augustine: “But what is it that I love in loving thee?
    Not physical beauty, nor the splendor of time, nor the radiance of the light–so pleasant to our eyes–nor the sweet melodies of the various kinds of songs, nor the fragrant smell of flowers and ointments and spices; not manna and honey, not the limbs embraced in physical love–it is not these I love when I love my God. Yet it is true that I love a certain kind of light and sound and fragrance and food and embrace in loving my God, who is the light and sound and fragrance and food and embracement of my inner man–where that light shines into my soul which no place can contain, where time does not snatch away the lovely sound, where no breeze disperses the sweet fragrance, where no eating diminishes the food there provided, and where there is an embrace that no satiety comes to sunder. This is what I love when I love my God.”

    Thanks to the others who posted quotes. As an African American born in Africa of course I’m going with Hippo. I wish the picture were better, he doesn’t look very African. I think it’s important to remember the role of the African church in early Christianity. Please don’t vote based on the pictures!

  131. March 13, 2017 - 1:25 pm | Permalink

    I have all sorts of sympathy for Augustine of Canterbury because he was a missionary, carried out Gregory’s policy of inculturation, and is less well known than his predecessor at Hippo. I am inclined a bit against Augustine because certain aspects of the North African’s theology (such as original sin and its connection to sexual intercourse) are problematic. But objectively this is no contest. With his theology of the church, the will, sacraments, and the city of God, the bishop of Hippo is one of the the four or five most influential people in the history of the Christian faith. How can you not vote for him?

  132. Paula Marie Jeanette's Gravatar Paula Marie Jeanette
    March 13, 2017 - 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Augustine of Hippo got my vote. He had many life experiences yet found peace in his faith.

  133. Gretchen Pritchard's Gravatar Gretchen Pritchard
    March 13, 2017 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I wish there were LIKEs for the comments as well as REPLYs.

    Hippo is so like Paul. So passionate, so brilliant, and so flawed; and the flaws in his writings take on a life of their own and have pernicious aftereffects that make us almost forget the essential and foundational brilliance of their thought. Being somewhat jaded and fed up at the moment with ambiguous brilliance, and hungry for holy simplicity, I voted for Canterbury fully expecting that Hippo would be leading. But I see that my mood is widely shared.

  134. Georgene Kruzel's Gravatar Georgene Kruzel
    March 13, 2017 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Canterbury stood on the shoulders of Hippo. Without a strong foundation, loving evangelizing is stymied by discussions seeking clarity. I vote for Augustine of Hippo who was more on the bleeding edge of establishing clarity for others the future.

  135. Melissa Ridlon's Gravatar Melissa Ridlon
    March 13, 2017 - 1:48 pm | Permalink

    There are many reasons I voted for Augustine of Canterbury – not least having visited and received a warm welcome at the little church where he baptized Ethelbert. But, I suppose the primary reason is that my cats – “Gus” and “Bert” wouldn’t have allowed me to sleep at all tonight if I’d voted for the other Augustine.

  136. Margaret Bivins's Gravatar Margaret Bivins
    March 13, 2017 - 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Went with Canterbury, because Augustine of Hippo comes across as a hippo-crit.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 13, 2017 - 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Oh, Margaret, that’s a good one!

  137. Martha Frances's Gravatar Martha Frances
    March 13, 2017 - 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I love that Augustine of Canterbury took what was worthy in the religion & culture into which the Church was moving & “baptized” it w/ Christian meaning instead of destroying it. And the guy from Hippo was WAY too into original sin. But he had a great mama! I had to go w/ Canterbury. Glad to see that Oliver did too!

  138. Meg Lovejoy's Gravatar Meg Lovejoy
    March 13, 2017 - 2:13 pm | Permalink

    In spite of all the good works of Augustine of Hippo, I just couldn’t vote for one who abandoned the mother of his child and the child.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 13, 2017 - 3:33 pm | Permalink

      See the other comments above. A of Hippo’s child abandonment has been debunked.

  139. Judy A's Gravatar Judy A
    March 13, 2017 - 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Augustine of Hippo because he wrote about the Fall as a Fall Up (what came to be know as felix culpa), for without sin, there would be no redemption. Thanks be to God for the birth, life, death and resurrection of your Son, our savoir Jesus Christ

  140. Alice's Gravatar Alice
    March 13, 2017 - 2:23 pm | Permalink

    One of the highlights of my Episcopal school education was memorizing the prologue to Canterbury Tales for English class junior year. Twenty eight years later, I can still recite most of it, so Augustine of Canterbury gets my vote today.

  141. Sue G.'s Gravatar Sue G.
    March 13, 2017 - 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Ooh, now here come the heavyweights! I voted A of H because the collect given to him spoke more to me, today, than that of A of C. Even if the latter did evangelise my homeland all those centuries ago.

  142. Ken Campbell's Gravatar Ken Campbell
    March 13, 2017 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I was ordained a priest on 26 May, the Feast of Saint Augustine of Canterbury and have had the joy of making a pilgrimage to the Cathedral.

  143. Mary Lou Creamer's Gravatar Mary Lou Creamer
    March 13, 2017 - 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I did, too, Oliver, plus I liked the fact that he didn’t steamroll the people into believing, but instead also honored some of their local traditions. Guess I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Canterbury.

  144. Br. John-Magdalene's Gravatar Br. John-Magdalene
    March 13, 2017 - 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Hippo just looks, pissy.
    Mea Culpa.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 13, 2017 - 5:03 pm | Permalink

      So funny!!!!!

  145. Rev. Vicki Hesse's Gravatar Rev. Vicki Hesse
    March 13, 2017 - 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Voted for Augustine of Hippo because his mother, Monnica, is the saint of our Daughters of the King chapter, St. Monnica’s. Pray, serve, and share God’s love. #shepersisted

  146. Rev Douglas McLemore's Gravatar Rev Douglas McLemore
    March 13, 2017 - 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Augustine of Hippo had all the struggles and frailties of a real human being and yet arose to overcome so much and become one of the more pronounced early theological thinkers.

  147. Liz Charlton's Gravatar Liz Charlton
    March 13, 2017 - 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Augustine of Hippo abandoned a wife and child? I understand that saints can be ruthless, but this seems more selfish than saintly.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 13, 2017 - 3:35 pm | Permalink

      David wasn’t clear in his writing in re: the historical reality. See other comments by others above debunking child abandonment charges.

  148. Corban's Gravatar Corban
    March 13, 2017 - 2:57 pm | Permalink

    As an Episcopalian, I feel I have no other choice that to vote for the first Archbishop of Canterbury.

  149. Alice Speers's Gravatar Alice Speers
    March 13, 2017 - 2:59 pm | Permalink

    At first I was going with A of C because A of H looks so grumpy. After reading I thought maybe I preferred the kind evangelization of the Angles. Then I changed my mind again because A of H saw the goodness of creation. May change again! Oh woe, a tough choice!

  150. Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
    March 13, 2017 - 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I’d vote for Augustine of Canterbury no matter whom he was up against. I’ve always loved Pope Gregory’s instructions to missionaries – “Don’t march in there telling people everything they know is wrong – work WITH what people already know and love!” For that reason I especially cherish all the pagan aspects of Xmas celebrations, because they represent a deep understanding of human nature and respect for multiple cultures. So I absolutely must vote for one of the people who carried out Gregory’s wise words.

  151. Lois Alworth's Gravatar Lois Alworth
    March 13, 2017 - 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Voted for Hippo because I love Canterbury, because he did not force Christianity on the English but let them keep some of their own culture and beliefs and because he was a friend of St. Gregory the Great, since I attend St. Gregory Episcopal church.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 13, 2017 - 3:36 pm | Permalink


  152. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 13, 2017 - 3:20 pm | Permalink

    One thing I learned about Hippo while preparing to vote, which I haven’t done yet, was that he was very concerned with the interaction of theology and science. Basically he said that a literal interpretation of Scripture shouldn’t conflict with science, so if it did, it should be replaced with a metaphoric interpretation. One scholar says that if the Church had followed his lead, the theory of evolution would have been adopted much earlier.

  153. Lois Alworth's Gravatar Lois Alworth
    March 13, 2017 - 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Oops, meant to say I voted for Augustine of Canterbury, not Hippo.

  154. Steve D's Gravatar Steve D
    March 13, 2017 - 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Not only was Augie of H a bishop, wrestling for years with all the issues that come with that job, his writings show a person using his intellect, faith and compassion to wrestle with the Big Issues. I remember being amazed at how he went after literalist interpretations of the bible by pointing to inconsistencies in the texts. He’d be great on a talk show.

    • Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
      March 13, 2017 - 3:32 pm | Permalink

      I alluded to that in an earlier post. I absolutely love that about him. He thought that God created everything at the same time, and if he had known about the Big Bang, I’m sure he would have been all over it. I can imagine myself sitting on a couch with him, watching Cosmos (either one) with a bowl of Doritos and salsa!

  155. Wayne H. Johnson's Gravatar Wayne H. Johnson
    March 13, 2017 - 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Augustine of Hippo and Pelagius wh0 following in his footsteps established the Celtic Church’s emphasis on the presence of God at the heart of all life and within all people that prepared the ground for a clash with Augustine of Cantebury’s Roman mission of 597 and it was this discord that led to the Synod of Whitby’s decision against the Celtic misson in 664. The most significant concept to emerge at the Synod of Whitby was the Celtic perception of John listening for the hearbeat of God. It revealed that this tradition did not begin with the Celtic Church and people like Pelagius but was part of an ancient stream of contemplative spirituality. I would like to have seen a greater acceptance of the Celtic Church’s practices by Augustine of Canterbury’s mission and therefore voted for Augustine of Hippo.

  156. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    March 13, 2017 - 3:46 pm | Permalink

    It is a given that Augustine will win today. And you can take that to the bank.

    After reading the comments I decided to vote for Augustine of Canterbury because he was an Archbishop and out ranks the Bishop of Hippo. And because he overcame his fears to carry out his part of the Great Comission.

    Though I do wonder if the author of Augustine of Hippo’s bio isn’t showing bias. The drawing of AoH is unflattering and makes him look like he is lacking in the fruits of the Spirit, plus there is the (intentionally?) misleading bit alleging child abandonment on the part of AoH.

    The SEC should investigate the ability of celebrity bloggers to remain at least neutral if not supportive in writing on the cause of their saint(s).

    • Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
      March 13, 2017 - 3:56 pm | Permalink

      It’s not the first time this year that celebrity bloggers have created problems for the subjects of their essays. I thought Isaac the Syrian was underrepresented as well.

  157. March 13, 2017 - 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Gotta say that I’m appalled by the lack of sense of forgiveness about Hippo’s supposed faults with previous lover and child by so many. None of us of course have had any such difficulties… oops… those 50% of we divorced Episcopal clergy must not be voting.
    Heaven for fend that someone might leave their old live’s behind and be born again….

  158. Kim Rossi's Gravatar Kim Rossi
    March 13, 2017 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Augustine of Canterbury mostly because Oliver did and Oliver just seems to get it – he picks the Saints who are winners. I did have some personal reasons as an Episcopalian/Anglican, but it was mostly Oliver. Keep going strong Oliver!!

  159. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 13, 2017 - 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m voting for Augustine of Canterbury in spite of the rah rah, unsubstantiated, feel good rhetoric of his supporters today. I’m voting for him because he is the patron saint of my parish, which I love more than anything in this world, except for my cats and of course my Mom.
    I’m voting for him because:
    He was a chicken. The only reason he went to England is because Gregory made him.
    He was a bull in a china shop. His gaffe with the Celtic Elders cost the church in Britain dearly.
    And basically the only good he accomplished was in following Gregory’s instructions.
    Well, I can be a chicken, and I can be a bull in the china shop, and I need all the wise counsel I can get, so Canterbury gives me hope. Augustine of Canterbury tells me God can use me too.
    Having said that, as you might be aware, I’ve been relentlessly advocating for the other Augustine all day, and might very well continue to do so, especially when folks make untrue and hurtful claims about him. But the research I’ve done on him has been a great blessing for me. I’ve learned so much, and appreciate him so much more than I ever would have if I didn’t take Lent Madness as a spiritual discipline.
    Regardless of who wins, I’m grateful.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 13, 2017 - 5:08 pm | Permalink

      What?! Canterbury?? I’m shocked! Shocked, I say! I did NOT see this coming, Freeman!

      • Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
        March 13, 2017 - 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Right! Well, I was always going to vote for Canterbury, but I really really wanted him to win for the right reasons, which is why I was advocating for Hippo. I didn’t want my Augustine to win because people were voting against Hippo. And as it turned out, even the people that weren’t voting against Hippo weren’t getting it right, either. Canterbury was very flawed and I love him because of that, and in spite of that.

  160. Maggie Proctor's Gravatar Maggie Proctor
    March 13, 2017 - 4:27 pm | Permalink

    As a devotee of St. Monnica, I had to vote for Augustine of Hippo.

    • Lilly's Gravatar Lilly
      March 13, 2017 - 6:08 pm | Permalink

      Monnica is not how you spell St. Monica’s name…

      • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
        March 14, 2017 - 10:32 am | Permalink

        Page 28 of The Book of Common Prayer 1979 says:  “Monnica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387” (emphasis added).

        • Gloria Rousseau's Gravatar Gloria Rousseau
          March 14, 2017 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

          Monnica is on her tombstone…unless the stone mason had one too many….

  161. Lynda-Marie's Gravatar Lynda-Marie
    March 13, 2017 - 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Could there have been an Augustine of Canterbury without an Augustine of Hippo? I’m not sure, but Hippo’s writings on the Trinity win for me… and another North African Christian in this year’s Lent Madness. Let’s not forget our brothers and sisters in Christ on that continent who are suffering gravely due to religious persecution.

  162. Jan Miller's Gravatar Jan Miller
    March 13, 2017 - 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m semi-famous for writing additional lyrics to “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God” for individual Christ followers. Alec Wyton was even considering them for the new hymnal (which never came to be in his time). Augustine of Hippo was one of the first ones I wrote.

    A philosophical search for truth, marked St. Augustine’s youth.
    At first a sinner his life was changed when the Lord made him see anew.
    He wrote his Confessions, The City of God,
    Theologians still to this day are awed.
    He was full of faith and I would be proud
    If I could be like him too.

    I’m not sure “proud” is the right word but I can’t remember the right one.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 14, 2017 - 10:34 am | Permalink

      Blessed maybe?

  163. March 13, 2017 - 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Augustine of Canterbury because of his respect for pre-Christian traditions in his missionary/pastoral work.
    I have concerns re Augustine of Hippo on a number of matters:
    Firstly, I rather think that Aug.Hip. brought much of his Manichaean past into the Christian faith and was the spiritual father of the whole “sex is icky” mentality within Christianity. In being converted from Manichaeanism to Christianity, IMHO he sadly Manichaeanised Christianity.
    Secondly, some of his teachings IMHO tend to lay a foundation to the predestination teachings of Calvin in a later era.
    Thirdly, while he wrote about the Trinity, IMHO his writings tend to be the beginning of the western tradition of viewing the Trinity as something to “explain away” rather than the eastern tradition of viewing the Trinity as something to celebrate. I much prefer the mystery of the Trinity celebrated by the Cappadocians and Andrei Rublev to Augustine’s minimalist Trinity.
    So, for me it’s Canterbury, Yes; Hippo, no.

    • Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
      March 13, 2017 - 5:43 pm | Permalink

      I hear you. I love the following legend, though:
      One day, grappling with the idea of one God in three Persons, he came upon a boy on the beach. The boy had dug a hole and was running to the ocean, filling his bucket with seawater, and then running back to his hole and pouring in it.

      After watching the boy for a few minutes, St. Augustine asked him what he was doing. “I’m going to put the ocean in that hole,” the boy replied. St. Augustine laughed and told the boy that was madness, the ocean would never fit! The boy then replied, “Then why do you think you can fit God into your mind?”

      Upon saying that, the boy, who was an angel according to legend, quickly disappeared, leaving Augustine alone with the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity.

      From a 15th century book of saints’ lives by Jacobus de Voragine, The Legenda Aurea (Golden Legend).

  164. Kara Slade's Gravatar Kara Slade
    March 13, 2017 - 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Non-celebrity theologian here. I voted for Augustine of Hippo because I count him as a friend and a companion on the way. I deeply appreciate his turbulent love for God, his emphasis on reading Scripture with an eye towards charity, and above all his realism about how deeply human beings mess up their own lives and the lives of others – and the extent to which we need God’s grace. And while I seem to be in the minority among commenters, I think the Filioque clause is doctrinally important and I’m in no hurry to get rid of it. If anyone is interested in reading him for the first time, the translation of the Confessions by Maria Boulding OSB is just beautiful and very accessible.

    It does worry me to see people cheering for Pelagius. Y’all, Pelagianism is one of the cruelest heresies imaginable. It tells people that they are ultimately responsible for fixing themselves, and if you can’t – that’s ultimately your fault for not trying harder. I can’t fix myself. I need Jesus and I need the grace of God in Christ, ultimately and completely.

    • Carter's Gravatar Carter
      March 13, 2017 - 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for adding a voice of reason and grace to this conversation.

  165. Claire's Gravatar Claire
    March 13, 2017 - 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Who’d ever heard of kidnapping into a religious order? The other way around, sure, but INTO?!!!?? 😀

    I voted for A. of Hippo for his defense of the Trinity and all the rest. He lived his life, no namby-pamby stuff or syrupy stories.

    Face it, A. of Cantebury was a bit of a wuss for turning back. Had it been up to him he would never have gone to Britain. He only went because he was forced to by Gregory.

  166. Judy F. N.'s Gravatar Judy F. N.
    March 13, 2017 - 5:59 pm | Permalink

    This was another toughie. I went with A of H because a priest friend gave me St Augustine’s Prayer Book back in 1970. It has been something I have used many times. It just wouldn’t be right not to go with Gus of Hippo!

  167. Jane's Gravatar Jane
    March 13, 2017 - 6:19 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Augustine of Canterbury. I liked it that he went along with the pope’s recommendation about incorporating pagan beliefs instead of condemning them. I also didn’t like it that the other Augustine left his family. Some on here say he kept in touch with his son, which is good, but what about his son’s mom? They might not have been married but she may have really loved him. If so, that was cruel.

  168. J.J. Cape Cod's Gravatar J.J. Cape Cod
    March 13, 2017 - 6:31 pm | Permalink

    A. Hippo dissed his mother for years and abandoned his common law wife as well as his child. A. Canterbury was invitational and hospitable resulting in the building of schools and churches. I had a tough nun who would challenge any complaints or excuses with “Action speaks louder than words.” Canterbury has my vote.

  169. March 13, 2017 - 6:56 pm | Permalink

    My goodness Auggie of Hippo looks grouchy in your portrait! And much too pale. Surely, coming from North Africa, he was a person of color. And one of the most influential theologians ever. That’s why I voted with the Hippos (Hippies?) today.

  170. Karl's Gravatar Karl
    March 13, 2017 - 7:02 pm | Permalink

    We may all disagree with much of what A of H taught, yet we all stand on his shoulders. But what’s with “I am too much a Celtic Christian to vote for Hippo”?! A of C was sent to England to suppress the Celtic Church and bring the Brits into line with Rome and its top-down authority. I am too much of a Celtic Christian to vote for Canterbury!

  171. Gloria Rousseau's Gravatar Gloria Rousseau
    March 13, 2017 - 7:17 pm | Permalink

    The lives of these two men are much too complex to be adequately represented in the brief blog allowed.

    Monica vs Monnica; Monnica is the spelling on her tombstone, but Monica is the most commonly used spelling.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 14, 2017 - 10:44 am | Permalink

      The Book of Common Prayer 1979 spells it with a double n on page 28. When in doubt spell it how the BCP does. Especially in the case of that also being reportedly what is on the Saint’s tombstone.

  172. Pam's Gravatar Pam
    March 13, 2017 - 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Augustine of Hippo because I loved that he defended the “goodness of creation” and believed in people being called by God for ministry.

  173. Zoey - 6 years old's Gravatar Zoey - 6 years old
    March 13, 2017 - 7:41 pm | Permalink

    I really liked Augustine of Hippo because of his name.

  174. Tammie Taylor's Gravatar Tammie Taylor
    March 13, 2017 - 7:43 pm | Permalink

    It’s not too late — vote for Augustine of Hippo! Not only is he an important doctor of the church, contributing mightily to important doctrines we all hold dear, not only did he hail from Africa, becoming one of the earliest examples of sainthood from that too-often-forgotten continent, he actually shared his rocky path to Jesus by writing The Confessions – a journey believers have identified with through the ages. Like Augustine of Hippo and so many before me, I agree “our hearts are restless Lord, until they rest in You.”

  175. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 13, 2017 - 7:59 pm | Permalink

    This miserable laptop keeps deleting my comments, so I’ll start over. Hippo hands down. Canterbury was a theological “innocent” (did not feel that what you believed mattered), a bureaucrat who followed orders from Rome working tirelessly to suppress any Celtic influences in the Christianity of the British Isles. The Tudors would have loved him. On the other hand, Hippo was a person of color (born to a Berber mother) who tirelessly worked to rescue his flock from groups who took them as slaves–he begged for money from fellow Christians and paid many ransoms out of his own funds. Essentially he took over the functions of government (think of Hippo as a small failed state), and without him the people of that state would have been in terrible straits indeed. True, his theological speculations (clearly identified by him as such) caused difficulty from the first (Orthodox Christians have never recognized him as a saint), and his influence on the theology of Martin Luther was not wholly benign), but his life, works, and writings make him a more whole saint than Canterbury.

  176. Bee Durban's Gravatar Bee Durban
    March 13, 2017 - 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I don’t like either of them. Hippo has a lot to answer for in terms of theology and Canterbury was in thrall to Rome and squeezed out our beautiful, earth-centred Celtic Christianity. I shall abstain.

    • Gloria Rousseau's Gravatar Gloria Rousseau
      March 14, 2017 - 12:13 am | Permalink

      This was the first matchup that had two candidates I didn’t want to vote for.

      • Bee Durban's Gravatar Bee Durban
        March 14, 2017 - 9:17 am | Permalink

        It was a challenge, I must say. Although I quite enjoyed not voting!

  177. March 13, 2017 - 9:14 pm | Permalink

    While I appreciate Canterbury’s incorporation of pagan traditions into Christianity (a plus for intercultural competence), Hippos’s theological scholarship, his authorship of the The City of God, and his Confessions remain too important in the development of Christianity – have to vote for him. Agree about remembering the contributions of the early African church as well – fundamental. Hippo demonstrates true conversion and personal response to God’s call. Good for you, Augustine of Hippo!

  178. Izzie's Gravatar Izzie
    March 13, 2017 - 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Have to go with Augustine of Canterbury because in a time when it was my faith or die. He used diplomacy and example to spread Christianity which is what we need to do now.

  179. docmings's Gravatar docmings
    March 14, 2017 - 12:06 am | Permalink

    How can I not vote for the first Archbishop of Canterbury? I mean, isn’t this an Anglican contest? Not to mention, Hippo’s whole abandoning-the-mother-of-his-child-back-to-slavery-for-worldly-promotion thing. Though as a scholar of classical rhetoric myself, in some way this vote pains me … Not least because I’d have expected a rhetorician to do the right thing!

Comments are closed.