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Saint Monica

Saint Monica
  • Century: 4th Century
  • Patronage: Conversion of Relatives, Difficult Marriages, Disappointing Children, Victims of Adultery,
  • Feast Day: August 27th

Patronage – Conversion of Relatives, Difficult Marriages, Disappointing Children, Victims of Adultery, Unfaithfulness, Victims of Verbal Abuse

St. Monica was born in what is now Algeria.  She was married to Patritius, who held an official position in Algeria.  He was a pagan, and his temper was violent and had terrible habits.  Her married life was far from being a happy one, and her habits of prayer, alms giving, and good deeds annoyed him.  Monica by her sweetness and patience was able to exercise a good example among the wives and mothers of her town, who like her, suffered.  Her words and example had a positive effect on them.  

She had three children, Augustine the oldest, Navigius the middle child, and Perpetua her daughter.  Monica was saddened and full of grief that she couldn’t have her children baptized, and when her son Augustine got ill, her husband agreed, but then pulled his consent when his recovery started.  Monica’s anxiety was centered on Augustine, who was wayward and lazy.  He eventually was sent to school at Madaurus.  

Eventually through her prayers, her husband converted to Christianity, and died shortly there after.  Monica decided not to marry again.  Augustine had been sent to Carthage to further his studies, and while there, lived very loosely.  He had become a Manichean, and shared his views with Monica when he came home.  Monica became angry, and drove him away.  However, she experienced a strange vision that convinced her to reconcile with her son.  She went to seek advice from her Bishop and was consoled with these now famous words from St. Monica, “The child of those tears shall never perish”.  

Monica eventually followed her son to Rome, and then to Milan where she had met St. Ambrose.  It was through him that she ultimately had the joy of seeing her son convert to Christianity, after seventeen years of resistance.  He was baptized in the Church of St. John the Baptist at Milan.  From there, mother and son set out for Africa, where she eventually died.  St. Monica was buried in Ostia, and the in the 6th century was moved to Santa Aurea, in Osta.  

Practical Take Away 

St. Monica’s life was one of sorrow, pain, and yet she held on to her faith.  Her marriage was one of unhappiness, verbal abuse, and she was a victim of adultry.  Eventually, through keeping the faith and prayer, her husband was converted to Christianity just prior to his passing.  Her son Augustine lived a lazy, faithless life.  Eventually through prayer, fasting, and alms giving, he converted to Christianity, and St. Monica got the joy of wittnessing that.  He went on to be a great Saint.  Her life encourages us to not give up hope, that all the negative things in a family that can tear at a mother’s heart – can all be overcome, by maintaining the faith.  Only in focusing on Jesus, living our Catholic faith, and hopefully invoking the intercession of St. Monica – can one be assured that Jesus will take care of us all – and those important to us. St. Monica has been there, done that, and is now among the sea of saints that is willing to help us, if only we call upon her.  Those seeking help for loved ones, should reach out to St. Monica daily for her assistance.