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Walking in St. Augustine’s Footsteps

I am married to an Augustine scholar. I studied theology both in college and graduate school, but I was more drawn to St. Thomas Aquinas than St. Augustine. Being married to a man who loves St. Augustine has made me love him more, too.

Recently, my husband traveled to Italy on a grant to visit archeological sites related to the early Church. As his traveling companion, I had the opportunity to visit the sites of early baptistries, cathedrals, and yes — lots of sites related to St. Augustine.

The Baptistry

Milan, Italy is a bustling, modern city. The streets are filled with businessmen and women on bikes and riding trolleys. It is known as the fashion capital of the world. But when you emerge from Milan’s underground train depot, you are greeted not with the site of shops or skyscrapers – but with the Duomo di Milano. The Milan Cathedral was not built in the era of the early Church, but it is built on top of the site of an earlier cathedral. More importantly, under the cathedral is an excavation site of a baptistry from the period of the early church. As old as it is, the beautiful black and white mosaic pattern of the floor of the baptistry is still partially intact. You can see where water would have flowed into the baptismal font.

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