A wayward son goes about his merry ways, but his mother doesn’t give up on him and prays unceasingly for 17 years for him to change. Miraculously, her prayers are answered and the two forge a tight bond that ends in her unexpected demise. (Spoiler alert!)
That, in a nutshell, is the life story of St. Augustine, a story rife with drama, tension, and tearful moments that have inspired moviemakers to recreate it for the big and little screens. (Read: St. Monica’s Secret To Dealing With ‘Pasaway’ Loved Ones)
Binge-watch these three films—a miniseries, documentary, and cartoon—on St. Augustine’s feast day this August 28.
Restless Heart: The Confessions of Saint Augustine (2010)
Filmed in Tunisia, the two-part miniseries stars Alessandro Preziosi as a young Augustine (and veteran actor Franco Nero as the older Augustine) and Monica Guerritore as St. Monica. One viewer called it “much better than Game of Thrones” and another declared it “really a great movie. Sometimes Christian movies are kind of painful to watch due to poor acting, script, or effects, even if the message is good. But this movie seems to have it all. It’s a really well made film.”
Saint Augustine: A Voice For All Generations (2013)
The documentary presents the saint in relatable fashion—with classic artworks as visuals and engaging narration by EWTN’s Mike Aquilina. Viewers called it “educational,” “eye-opening,” and “magnificent,” though a few pointed out issues with the volume; some parts were too loud, others soft. Also available on Amazon.
Stories of Saints for Kids: Saint Augustine (2017)
From Christian Kids TV comes this animated episode that takes off when siblings Joan and Jim ask their Uncle Francis about the photograph of St. Augustine in the brewer Jonathan’s wagon. Kids will appreciate this cartoon that introduces the child Augustine as a mischievous boy, and his mother Monica, whose steadfast love and prayers led to her son’s miraculous conversion.