Servants of the Holy Cross
Augustini Servi Sancti Crucis
The Order of St. Fulgentius of Ruspe
"Before all else, beloved, love God and then your neighbor, for these are the chief commandments given to us." Thus begins the Rule of St. Augustine. Many are not aware that St. Augustine wrote a rule for his monks and that he was a monk. Father Adolar Zumkeller, O.S.A. writes, "Modern Christians think of St. Augustine as a God-seeker, a bishop, a theologian, but have for the most part forgotten his life as a monk." The Rule of St. Augustine is a short one but filled with profound teaching such as —
Many religious communities of men and women follow the Rule of St. Augustine. We are privileged to strive to follow a Rule by a Father and Doctor of the Church, perhaps the Church's greatest theologian, a Bishop, a Saint and a monk. (Augustinedu.com)
SAINT FULGENTIUS OF RUSPE
Saint Fulgentius was born in A.D. 462 in Tunisia, North Africa, into a wealthy family. He received a good education and afterwards served as procurator or tax collector in the Vandal administration of Telepte. After reading Saint Augustine’s commentary on Psalm 36, Fulgentius dedicated his life to God and decided to enter monastic life. He subsequently founded several monastic communities in Africa and Sardinia. In A.D. 508 Fulgentius was named bishop of a small coastal town called Ruspe. It wasn’t long, however, before he and more than 60 other Catholic bishops were exiled to Sardinia by the Vandal king. In A.D. 523 Fulgentius and his fellow bishops were permitted to return to their native land, where, after ten more years of pastoral activity, Fulgentius died on 1 January 533.
Fulgentius was an outspoken opponent of Arianism*. He taught extensively on the topics of grace and predestination. Fulgentius is sometimes referred to as “the pocket Augustine” because he mirrored Augustine’s doctrine on these two subjects in great detail.
*Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius (ca. AD 250–336), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of God to the Son of God (Jesus of Nazareth). Arius asserted that the Son of God was a subordinate entity to God the Father.