AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO (354-430) was one of the foremost philosopher-theologians of early Christianity and the leading figure in the church of North Africa. He became bishop of Hippo in 396 and held that position until his death. Before becoming a Christian, Augustine lived a very secular life. His mother Monica prayed for him diligently and at age 32, during a trip to Milan, Augustine heard the preaching of St. Ambrose, was convicted by the Holy Spirit, and became a Christian. His numerous written works, the most important of which are his Confessions and City of God, shaped the practice of biblical exegesis and helped lay the foundation for much of medieval and modern Christian thought.