He was first there in the year 382 (see previous page), and then went to Milan for about three years (see following pages). Then he was unexpectedly in Rome again.
By the end of that time in Milan, Augustine was a Christian. He then planned to return to Thagaste in North Africa to begin a Christian lay community. Augustine, Monica (his mother), Adeodatus (his son), and his friends Alypius, Evodius and Severus moved to Ostia, not far from Rome, to await a ship back to North Africa. Because of a naval blockade, however, no ships were then coming to Ostia.
In Ostia, Monica his mother died on 13th November 387 while they awaited passage back to Africa. After her death in Ostia, Augustine dwelt again in Rome for the year of 388. He lived there the same quiet life which he had led at Cassiciacum, in company with Evodius, who later was Bishop of Uzalis in North Africa, and with his son Adeodatus. In Rome Augustine gave his time to study and writing, and produced a book against the Manichaeans.
He was a now different man to the one who has attempted to teach in Rome only four years earlier. Then he had been a Manichean, and was now a baptised Christian; then a teacher with ambitions, and now seeking a life of study within a Christian lay community; then a young man avoiding his mother, and now the son of a beloved mother with whom he had recently prayed in ecstasy.Through the grace (in Latin, gratia) of God, Augustine had come to a humility that allowed the love of God to overflow within his life.
It is interesting that, when Augustine the Manichee had first reached Rome in the year 383, both Pelagius and Jerome were as Catholic priests functioning as chaplains to aristocratic families in Rome. Augustine was to cross paths - and angry words - with both of them when later he was the leader of the church in Hippo.AN1102