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Saint Augustine, a Christian mother and a pagan father, struggled throughout his early years to reconcile his various religious beliefs. When he was in his forties, he wrote his Confessions, which describe how he gradually and painstakingly came to renounce his young views and licentious lifestyle and instead became a fervent supporter of Christianity and one of its most important philosophers. The Confessions, a surprisingly open and illuminating spiritual autobiography, also discuss key points of Christian philosophy, and many of the prayers and meditations it contains are still central to Christian practise today.