St. Augustine: No Son without suffering

God had one Son on earth without sin, but none without suffering.

Attr. St. Augustine
  • It doesn’t sound to me like him, but I’ve been wrong before.
  • A general search on the web returns all the usual suspect sites that carry unverified quotes without citations.
  • Wikiquote has it on the discussion page as unsourced.
  • Google Books: a trip through time:
    • It’s on a list of copyrighted works from 1953 (I think someone made a card with that on it and copyrighted the card).
    • It’s in the Kindergarten-primary Magazine from 1920 (vol. 32, p. 224). At this point I can conclude that if it is faux, it is at least long-standing faux.
    • It’s in the 1892 edition of (I’m not making this up) The International Good Templar (vol. 5, p. 324). No citation, of course.
    • The Christian Week, Dec. 31, 1879. This was the oldest hit I got from Google Books (I didn’t list them all), and it doesn’t give a source, which suggests that it was a well-known saying at the time.
  • Searching CCEL for the phrase turned up nothing.
  • As a last desperate attempt, I tried searching the complete Latin works of St. Augustine, available here. I guessed that “without suffering” would either be sine patienta or sine dolore. I got nearly 300 results for each search, but none of those results was the alleged quotation

Conclusion: If it’s faux, it’s old-school faux, but I think that faux it is indeed.