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Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Correspondence Between St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Paulinus of Nola


In his City of God (Bk. 1, Ch. 10), St. Augustine says the following about his contemporary St. Paulinus of Nola:

"For if many were glad that their treasure was stored in places which the enemy chanced not to light upon, how much better founded was the joy of those who, by the counsel of their God, had fled with their treasure to a citadel which no enemy can possibly reach! Thus our Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, who voluntarily abandoned vast wealth and became quite poor, though abundantly rich in holiness, when the barbarians sacked Nola, and took him prisoner, used silently to pray, as he afterwards told me, 'O Lord, let me not be troubled for gold and silver, for where all my treasure is You know.' For all his treasure was where he had been taught to hide and store it by Him who had also foretold that these calamities would happen in the world. Consequently those persons who obeyed their Lord when He warned them where and how to lay up treasure, did not lose even their earthly possessions in the invasion of the barbarians; while those who are now repenting that they did not obey Him have learned the right use of earthly goods, if not by the wisdom which would have prevented their loss, at least by the experience which follows it."

And in his Letter 26 addressed to Licentius, written in 395 A.D., St. Augustine urges him:

"Go to Campania, learn in the case of Paulinus, that eminent and holy servant of God, how great worldly honors he shook off, without hesitation, from neck truly noble because humble, in order that he might place it, as he has done, beneath the yoke of Christ; and now, with his mind at rest, he meekly rejoices in Him as the guide of his way. Go, learn with what wealth of mind he offers to Him the sacrifice of praise, rendering unto Him all the good which he has received from Him, lest, by failing to store all that he has in Him from whom he received it, he should lose it all."

This same Paulinus, together with his wife Therasia, St. Augustine shared a personal correspondence with, which can be read below:

Written Before St. Augustine Became Bishop of Hippo

Letter 24 (394) From Paulinus and Therasia to Alypius

Letter 25 (394) From Paulinus and Therasia to Augustine

Letter 27 (395) From Augustine to Paulinus

Letter 30 (396) From Paulinus and Therasia to Augustine

Written After St. Augustine Became Bishop of Hippo

Letter 31 (396) From Augustine to Paulinus and Therasia

Letter 32 (396) From Paulinus and Therasia to Romanian

Letter 42 (397) From Augustine to Paulinus and Therasia

Letter 45 (398) From Alypius and Augustine to Paulinus and Therasia

Letter 94 (408) From Paulinus and Therasia to Augustine

Letter 95 (408) From Augustine to Paulinus and Therasia



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