Did “Saint” Augustine pray to Mary?

"Saint" Augustine of Hippo (354-430) was an extremely prolific write of the 4th and 5th century. After living an extremely ungodly life full of sexual sin, he converted to Christianity and later became the Bishop of Hippo, a North African colony.

Augustine is revered by Protestants and Catholics alike. The French Reformer John Calvin drew a lot of his ideas from Augustine's writings, while the Roman Catholics claim him as one of their own. The truth is that Roman Catholicism was still evolving at that time, as it is today also. Christian theology tends to mutate over the centuries, and recombine certain elements from diverse streams, and so it would be impossible to categorize Augustine in any of today's categories. But his influence over theology today is still considerable.

Augustine's thinking was greatly influenced by Greek philosophy, especially, I believe the Greek concept of Fates in which every person's life was predestined before they come into the world.

It has come to my attention from a number of sources that Augustine prayed to Mary, the mother of Jesus, according to the flesh.

Here is what is attributed to Augustine by the Catholics. I quote from http://catholicism.about.com/od/prayers/qt/Augustine_BWM.htm

 

Prayer of Saint Augustine to the Blessed Virgin

O blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay thee thy just dues of praise and thanksgiving, thou who by the wondrous assent of thy will didst rescue a fallen world? What songs of praise can our weak human nature recite in thy honor, since it is by thy intervention alone that it has found the way to restoration. Accept, then, such poor thanks as we have here to offer, though they be unequal to thy merits; and receiving our vows, obtain by thy prayers the remission of our offenses. Carry thou our prayers within the sanctuary of the heavenly audience, and bring forth from it the antidote of our reconciliation. May the sins we bring before Almighty God through thee, become pardonable through thee; may what we ask for with sure confidence, through thee be granted. Take our offering, grant us our requests, obtain pardon for what we fear, for thou art the sole hope of sinners. Through thee we hope for the remission of our sins, and in thee, O blessed Lady, is our hope of reward. Holy Mary, succour the miserable, help the fainthearted, comfort the sorrowful, pray for thy people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God; may all who keep thy holy commemoration feel now thy help and protection. Be thou ever ready to assist us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it thy continual care to pray for the people of God, thou who, blessed by God, didst merit to bear the Redeemer of the world, who liveth and reigneth, world without end. Amen.

 

If this quote is a true reflection of what Augustine really thought and believed, then no Protestant should revere Augustine as a man who had a strong grip on truth. Why? Because this prayer ascribes SALVATION to agency of Mary! "thou who by the wondrous assent of thy will didst rescue a fallen world?"

The Bible says that there is ONE mediator between man and God, the MAN Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5). Catholics want to add a mediatrix (Mary)and a multitude of "saints" as fellow mediators between God and men. But if Roman Catholics do not speak according to the Word of God, they are the ones in error, notwithstanding all their spurious arguments that the Word of God actually came from them, and so can only be interpreted by them.

 

Again, if this prayer is a true reflection of what Augustine taught and believed, then he had an extremely POOR grasp on soteriology, or the theology of salvation. There are many theological errors in this prayer.

The Bible teaches that through Christ we can come BOLDLY before the throne of grace. If this is the case, why do we need Mary to "Carry … our prayers within the sanctuary of the heavenly audience"?

How can it be that "in Mary … is our hope of reward", and not in Christ? How can it be that "through [Mary] … we hope for the remission of sins"?

My hope is in and through Jesus Christ alone. It is not through his mother, his mother's mother, or his mother's mother's mother, or anything like that.

Mary did not die for my sins. Jesus died for my sins.

If Augustine could pray like this, he didn't have a very close relationship with God. He was very religious, but not very enlightened by the Holy Spirit.

Its such a pity that so many Christians follow the thoughts of Augustine in many areas without even realising what the man stood for.

After writing this short piece, I did further searches on the internet and found this one:

http://www.freewill-predestination.com/files/augustine.pdf . We can see that Augustine was the fountainhead or at least a promoter of many popular heresies today including:

Infant Baptism

The Doctrine of Unconditional Predestination

Prayer to Mary

Amillenialism

Belief in the supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff

A Belief that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit were essentially void by his time

 

He was also involved in persecuting the Donatists, whose chief difference was that they believed a man who became impious or unholy was no longer worthy to be a bishop or overseer of the church of God. That is something that seems pretty consistent to me with the doctrine of the Bible – "a bishop must be blameless" (1 Timothy 3:2). But NO, for Augustine, the grace which passes through the sacrament of "Holy Orders" to the bishop does not get withdrawn just because the man becomes a sinful backslider.

 

It is hard to believe that one influential churchman could be wrong on so many issues – but it is a fact, and a fact we had better deal with, or we will end up discarding the plain statements of Scripture in favor of the theology of this so-called church father who combines many of the toxic elements of Calvinism and Roman Catholicism in one person.

 

What do YOU think?

comments

About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

Comments

  1. new creature says:

    Please excuse my poor editing in the first paragraph. There should be a stop after ‘espouse that”. (Then) There are a few…

  2. new creature says:

    Some dozen or so years ago, I came across some teaching by J Calvin, M Luther, and others of like mind on this subject. Certain elements of the things I read seemed to make a lot of sense. So I began to lean to the Calvin view and espouse that there a re a few good men who are not ardent Calvinists, but wish some kind of reform to take place.

    Since my wife passed into the presence of Jesus nearly two years ago, I have been examining by various means this position.
    I am now settling into the position that neither Jesus nort His apostles were Calvinists nor were they Arminianists. These two great influences in ‘Christendom’ were post apostolic. Whatever good may be in either, it is foolishness to stop at either and pitch a permanent tent there.
    It is one thing to acknowledge post apostolic history and gain some insights, it is another to go back all the way to the beginning of the foundations of the Church of Jesus Christ. In my view they are worlds apart, with all due respect to other godly men allowing that they were.

    Jesus said Follow Me! Paul could say the same thing because he was true as a die in the mold of Jesus Christ. We are not to follow a Reformer. Many ordinary people in their day only had the Reformers word to stand on, so they grabbed what light they could and ran with that. Then when each one could read for themselves, they could then examine what hey had been taught. It is our duty to do so today.

    Give me true ‘apostolic doctrine’ any day.

    A related topic.
    It is interesting to note the use of the words ‘doctrine’ and ‘doctrines’ in the N.T. Check it out..
    ‘Doctrines’ plural was used in connection with demonic doctrines – false doctrines, and of men. ‘Doctrine’ singular was always used in connection with the doctrine of God, eg, in Christ Jesus, etc.
    If any one finds otherwise, I am happy to be corrected, but please do a thorough examination first, and don’t appeal to any other source but the Scriptures. Quote Jesus and His holy prophets and apostles.
    Note what Moses prophesies; ‘My doctrine’ (SINGULAR) ‘shall drop as the rain…” (Deut. 32:2). And who is he speaking for? ve 39. God had one doctrine. So did Jesus the Son of God who only spoke His Father’s words. See John 7:16.
    Hebrews 6:2 is the only possible exception to the singularity of God’s doctrine. I believe this reference may be reasonable answered with a singularity factor in mind. But even if that were not the case, it is one out of about fourty – 40 -singular references in the N.T, and the are another half dozen or so in the O.T. Were then is the weight of evidence leaning?
    This post apostolic notion of plurality of doctrines has actually done the Body of Jesus Christ a great disservice. And the sooner we realize this the better. The devil has capitalized on this thing as he is quick to do on any thing out of order, and it has caused many to dismiss if not throw out certain elements of what Jesus plainly taught and His apostles.
    Men make doctrines (as Jesus Himself stated). God has one doctrine. I think it is safer to stick with God.
    Let us go all the way back to Jesus and not get off at the Reformer’s stop to stay there.

    • Its amazing how much men have argued about doctrine when the commandments of Jesus in the gospels are staring us in the face and so many times we simply ignore what JESUS said, while we get on with fighting for our particular viewpoints.

      I distrust any system of theology which teaches that doing what Jesus taught the 12 apostles is not relevant to us today. As if something else is more relevant – like church traditions…

    • Holyroller_11 says:

      do you think without these old time praying teachers,you would even know what church is ?these old timers got their answers on their KNEES,not on the internet or tv.if we today would spend a tenth of the time these did, in prayer some of these foolish talk would be no more

      • new creature says:

        In making my point Holyroller, I am in no way dismissing or belittling the holy desires or holy pursuits, or holy living of any of these men who have gone before us. They may well have been more righteous than any of us. They may have spent more hours in prayer on their knees in one year than what I have in my life time. That is not the issue.
        The issue is what they taught and that is open for examination and must be examined according to Scripture. All of it. The Reformers were very big on Sola Scripture (Scripture alone); I take them and us up on that. In so far as they or anyone follows the Lord Jesus AND His doctrine – then we may also follow after them. However, the Reformers are not the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ. (A point that many I dare say have not considered enough.) It is the holy prophets and apostles (and their doctrine) -of Christ who are the foundation on which we are being built in the Lord (Eph. 2:20). We not only need the doctrine of Christ in our veins, we need its efficacy, its power working in and through us for the glory of God.
        Eyes on Jesus and His doctrine everyone. Back to the Begiinnig.

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