April 24th is marked by Augustinians around the world, both canons and others who follow the Rule of St. Augustine, as the memorial of the Conversion of Our Holy Father Augustine.
“So was I speaking and weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when, lo! I heard from a neighbouring house a voice, as of boy or girl, I know not, chanting, and oft repeating, “Take up and read; Take up and read. “ Instantly, my countenance altered, I began to think most intently whether children were wont in any kind of play to sing such words: nor could I remember ever to have heard the like. So checking the torrent of my tears, I arose; interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the book, and read the first chapter I should find. For I had heard of Antony, that coming in during the reading of the Gospel, he received the admonition, as if what was being read was spoken to him: Go, sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me: and by such oracle he was forthwith converted unto Thee. Eagerly then I returned to the place where Alypius was sitting; for there had I laid the volume of the Apostle when I arose thence. I seized, opened, and in silence read that section on which my eyes first fell: Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, in concupiscence. No further would I read; nor needed I: for instantly at the end of this sentence, by a light as it were of serenity infused into my heart, all the darkness of doubt vanished away.” – The Confessions, Book VIII, Chapter 12
St. Norbert receives the Rule from Our Holy Father Augustine
Deus, qui ineffábili providéntia
beátum Augustínum ab errórum ténébris
ad lucem evangélicæ veritátis adduxísti,
da nobis, quǽsumus, ut, qui eius hódie conversiónem colimus,
eiúsdem précibus ad te actus nostros in mélius reformémus. Amen.