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The Life of Augustine of Hippo

Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)

Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren

The seventeenth century was the century of Saint Augustine. In 1695, Louis Sébastien, Le Nain de Tillemont, finished volume 13 of his Mémoires ecclésiastique, entitled La vie de saint Augustin. The volume consisted of approximately 1200 pages wherein Louis Sébastien gathered from the works of Augustine and elsewhere all extant passages relevant to the biography of Augustine of Hippo. Completed in 1695, the biography was published posthumously in 1700. The work lies in the tradition of Jansenism from Port-Royal and the Leuven. Though an ascetic recluse on the family estate for the last twenty years of his life, he was in touch with important French scholars and the ecclesiastical movements of his time. Louis’ work is the first modern biography of Augustine and the most comprehensive of all Augustinian biographies, even today. Modern authors consult him and frequently adopt his theories without citation. His method exercises influence on contemporary Parisian scholarship on Augustine. This English translation has been divided into three volumes covering three time periods: part 1: birth to episcopal consecration (354–396); part 2: the Donatist controversy (396–411); part 3: the Pelagian controversy (411–430).
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Article 322: Cure of Two Children (2)

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ARTICLE 322

Cure of Two Children (2)

On Easter Sunday morning of 425, when the assembly was already numerous, Paul prayed holding on to the balustrade of the chapel of St. Stephen.1 He fell to the ground in one fell swoop and remained lying there as if sleeping. No sign of the previous tremble was evident. All present were astonished, some from fear, others from compassion. Some wished to lift him up, others prevented that saying they wanted to see how this event would turn out. As for Paul he felt strange—he did not know where he was.2 After rising later he had no tremble and was perfectly cured. Standing, he looked at those around him.

Who could fail to thank God. The entire church rang with cries of joy. They ran promptly to tell me [in the sacristy] where I was seated before going solemnly to the altar. They came, one after the other, the last announcing the news as if I had not learned it from the first. While I thanked God interiorly, the young man entirely cured entered accompanied by a crowd. He threw himself at my feet. I raised him as if to kiss him. We then entered the church assembly and heard these words: “God be blessed; God be praised.” I greeted the people and they repeated more strongly than ever the same acclamation. Then silence broke out and the usual Scripture passages were read. When the time...

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