When Augustine was a sixteen years of age, Patricius
his father died, but he made a small account of this in his Confessions
When Augustine was twenty two years of age, however, he lost a dear friend, and then in his adulthood as a Christian his loving mother, Monica
Both of these deaths had a great effect on affected Augustine.
Whereas in his Confessions, the death of his father was merely mentioned, their two deaths were covered in some detail.
The death of his close friend in Tagaste in the year 376 was significant in that it made Augustine realise that life is temporal.
Looking back reflectively on his life in his Confessions, Augustine wrote that the death of this closest and dearest friend had positively influenced his own process of conversion to the Christian faith.
Augustine discovered how deep the bond of friendship
ran very deeply within him when he lost this un-named dear friend. He later wrote, "For I thought that my soul and his were but one soul in two bodies." (Confessions
4, 6, 11)
For Augustine the mystical "bond of love
" that thoroughly binds community members together is the work of the Holy Spirit.
As reported in the Confessions
, Augustine and this unnamed friend had known each other for a short time when his friend died, yet Augustine felt that he was losing someone he had known all his life.
"You [God] took the man from this life when our friendship had scarcely completed a year. It had been sweet to me beyond all sweetnesses of life that I had experienced."
(Continued on the next page.)