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 alienating illusions.
Give them the courage to undertake the path toward that 'interior
man' where the One awaits who alone can give peace to our restless
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
John Paul II Nov 2004