August 27

St. Monica

St. Monica

“Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight.

I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why,

I’m still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled..”

St. Monica to his son St. Augustine of Hippo

Tough Beginning

St Monica was born 331 AD in Thagaste, known today as souk Ahras,Algeria, North of Africa. At a very young age, her parents married heroff to a Roman pagan called Patricius despite Monica being a devoutChristian.

Monica was in between a pagan husband and a cantankerous mother-in-law.They both had violent tempers. Patricius’s mother lived with the youngcouple, which didn’t make Monica’s life any easier.

Monica had three children who survived infancy, two sons and a daughter.Augustine being the eldest, Navigus and Perpetual. Monica carried theburden of not being able to baptize her children as their father waspagan.

Difficult Marriage

St. Monica had a very troubled marriage. Patricius, her husband, wasunfaithful to the union and was verbally abuse with an easily flaredtemper. He disliked Monica for her prayers, charity, and piety; still,he respected her.

Nevertheless, Monica prayed continuously for her husband andmother-in-law’s conversion.

Perhaps, Monica’s greatest trial as a married woman was to come in herson Augustine. He lived a lustful, adulterous life, stealing and tellinglies. Patricius wasn’t of much help raising Augustine to the right pathsince he isn’t much different.

St. Monica lost her husband Patricius when her son Augustine was 17 andmore carefree. Fortunately, Patricius and his mother got converted toChristianity a year before his death and got baptized. Their conversiongave Monica some consolation.

The Weeping Mother

Augustine was at Carthage for studies when his father died. Carthage istoday in Tunisia. While Augustine was at Carthage studying rhetorics, hejoined the Manichean religion. The Manichean doctrine describes allflesh as evil, light, and darkness and states that all matter will go tolight when they died (astrology).

Monica was deeply in sorrow when she learned her son had continued todeviate from the Christian faith and has fallen deep into sin. Later,when Augustine returned home to Thagaste, in grief, she denied himsharing a sharing her table with her for a while.

As a distressed mother who never sleeps, Monica wept at night for herson’s conversion. One day, she had a vision in which a voice told herto reconcile with her stray son, so she took Augustine back and keptpraying for him.

Monica met a bishop who told her that the child of those tears shouldnever perish. The bishop’s word helped strengthened her persistence inprayer.

Victory at Last

Augustine secretly traveled to Rome, Italy, and st. Monica followedafter her son. On arriving in Rome, she learned that he had moved toMilan, not discouraged; she followed him to Milan.

While in Milan, Monica came across st. Ambrose. He helped convertAugustine to Christianity, and months after, Augustine got baptized atst. John the baptist Milan by st. Ambrose.

Long years of persistence and prayer have finally paid off, and st.Monica was the happiest and most fulfilled woman on earth.

The Call to Journey Home

St. Monica and her son later st. Augustine was divinely inspired to goback to Africa to preach the gospel. On their way home, Monica had toldAugustine, “Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I donot know what there is now left for me to do or why. I’m still here,all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.”

St. Monica died on their journey home at Ostia in 387. Her body wasburied near the tomb of St Aurea of Ostia. Her relics were transferred 4May 1430 on the order of Pope Martin V to the Basilica of Sant’Agostino,Rome.

5 Interesting Facts About St. Monica

  1. Did you know that it took St. Monica 17 years of persistent prayer
    to convert his lost son Augustine to catholicism?
    2.The city of Santa Monica, California, united states, was named after
    st. Monica.
  2. St. Monica is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern
    Orthodox, Anglican Communion, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheranism.
  3. Through her persistent prayers, her pagan husband and his mother got
  4. St. Monica is the patron saint of married women, mothers,
    conversions, alcoholics, abuse victims. She passed through many
    ordeals, and she remains steadfast. A lesson that God never gives
    up on us even in the darkest moment of our lives.

Prayer to St. Monica

St. Monica,I need your prayers.You know exactly how I feel because you once felt it yourself.I’m hurting, hopeless, and in despair.I desperately want my child to return to Christ in his Church, but Ican’t do it alone.I need God’s help.Please join me in begging the Lord’s powerful grace to flow into mychild’s life.Ask the Lord Jesus to soften his heart, prepare a path for hisconversion, and activate the Holy Spirit in his life.Amen.