In November 2004 Pope John Paul II
received the relics of St. Augustine at the Vatican.
The initiative marked the celebration of the 1,650th anniversary of the
birth of the bishop, philosopher and theologian, as well as one of the most
influential Fathers of the Church of the West. The Holy Father was so moved
when viewing the relics that he composed this prayer to St. Augustine.
"Great Augustine, our father and teacher, knowledgeable in the luminous ways
of God and also in the tortuous paths of men; we admire the wonders that
divine grace wrought in you, making you a passionate witness of truth and
goodness, at the service of brothers.
At the beginning of the new millennium marked by the cross of Christ, teach
us to read history in the light of Divine Providence, which guides events
toward the definitive encounter with the Father. Direct us toward peaceful
ends, nourishing in our hearts your own longing for those values on which it
is possible to build, with the strength that comes from God, the 'city' made
to the measure of man.
May the profound doctrine, that with loving and patient study you drew from
the ever living sources of Scripture, enlighten all those tempted today by
Give them the courage to undertake the path toward that 'interior man' where
the One awaits who alone can give peace to our restless hearts.
Many of our contemporaries seem to have lost the hope of being able to reach
-- amid the numerous opposing ideologies -- the truth, of which their
innermost being still keeps a burning nostalgia.
Teach them to never cease in their search, in the certainty that, in the
end, their effort will be rewarded by the satisfying encounter with the
supreme Truth who is source of all created truth.
Finally, St. Augustine, transmit to us also a spark of that ardent love for
the Church, the Catholic Mother of the Saints, which sustained and animated
the toils of your long ministry.
"Have us, walking together under the guidance of legitimate Pastors, reach
the glory of the heavenly Homeland, where, with all the Saints, we will be
able to join the new canticle of the everlasting alleluia.
John Paul II Nov 2004