«Late did I love you, beauty always ancient and always new, late did I love you» (Confessions 10, 27, 38). With this cry from his heart, Augustine expresses his sorrow for having wasted in vain things so many years of his life. For him, conversion represented arrival in port after a long and laborious voyage on the ocean of doubt, uncertainty and inconsistency. With conversion, he found himself and at the same time found joy in living. He experienced love in the merciful embrace of the father , and began to see the church as the mother of salvation and the model of life.
During the Easter Vigil of the year 387, in the night of the 24 to the 25th April, Augustine and his friends were baptised in Milan, by St Ambrose, Bishop of the city; «we were baptised, and we lost all interest in our past life» (Confessions 9, 6, 14).
The feast of the Conversion of Saint Augustine has been celebrated in the Augustinian Order since the year 1341, on the 5th of May. They decided later that this date would be chosen as the day before to celebrate the feast of St. Monica. Since the 14th of June 1928 the Conversion has been celebrated on the 24th of April.