St. Alypius

August 18th

Saint Alypius was the bosom friend of St. Augustine, though younger than he, was, after studying under Augustine at Milan. Conspicuous at first as a magistrate in Rome, he abandoned that honor to follow his master into the Church. St. Alypius was referred to by Augustine as “brother of my heart”. Both shared the same errors as young men and both shared the same conversion to Christ. His conversion began when Augustine was still a Manichaean, and occurred in consequence of a discussion about the folly of those who give way to sensual indulgence. A relapse occurred subsequently, when he was dragged by some friends to witness the savage games of the arena; but the final step was taken when, in company with Augustine, in obedience to the voice, Tolle, lege, he read the text of St. Paul, Non in commessationibus, etc. They were both baptized by St. Ambrose, at Milan.

Alypius was born sometime in the middle of the fourth century in Tagaste, Africa. His parents were influential citizens of that city. He studied law in Rome. He first met Augustine while at school in Carthage. Augustine praised him for his honesty, sincerity and sense of justice.

Like Augustine, Alypius was at one time a Manichean. The two friends were both converted to Christ and were Baptized together by Saint Ambrose in 387. Alypius helped Augustine start the first monastery in northern Africa in Tagaste. When Augustine was ordained a priest in Hippo, and started a monastery there, Alypius joined that community.

He once traveled to the East, where he met the great biblical scholar Saint Jerome. After living for some time with Augustine, in the monastery of Hippo, he was made Bishop of Tagaste. This was in the year 394, and took place after his return from the Holy Land, where he had seen St. Jerome. Under his guidance Tagaste reproduced the sanctity, learning, monastic exactness, and orthodoxy of Hippo. He took part in the African Councils of the Church during his time as Bishop, and was chosen along with Possidius and Augustine to represent the Catholic Bishops at the famous meeting with the Donatists in Carthage in 411. He died around the year 430.

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