Nicolo di Pietro, c. 1415: St. Augustine Taken to School by St. Monica. Augustine’s mother is traditionally credited with effecting his conversion to Christianity after he tried a lot of other religions; she prayed for him every day. But intellectually he was profoundly influenced by the life of St. Anthony of the Desert as well as St. Ambrose, who argued with him, taught him and baptized him. Augustine also had a mystical experience in which he heard a voice telling him to “take up and read.” Clearly he had more influences than just motherly love, but he had that too.

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