Saint Monica, Mother of St. Augustine
Today, we celebrate a holy woman and saint, as I like to call her, the epitome of the catholic wife and mother. Saint Monica was a Catholic woman, her parents gave her in marriage to a pagan man, Patricius, who lived in her hometown of Tagaste in North Africa. Patricius had a violent temper and was unfaithful. Patricius criticized his wife because of her charity and piety. Monica’s prayers and example finally won her husband and mother-in-law to Christianity. Her husband died in 371, one year after his baptism.
Monica had three children, Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Navigus and Perpetua entered religious life, except Augustine. Monica was always preoccupied with seeing the unruly life her son was living. For a while, she refused to let him eat or sleep in her house because he became a heretic. One night she had a vision that assured her Augustine would return to the faith. From that time on, she stayed close to her son, praying, and fasting for him. She often stayed much closer than Augustine wanted. Monica dedicated her life to praying for those whom she loved. She turned her suffering into a joyful and hopeful prayer that brought her family to the faith and gave us the biggest fruit of her prayers, St. Augustine; Bishop and Doctor of the Church.
Reflecting on her faithful prayer and devotion to God’s mercy:
St. Monica understood her mission through the vocation that God had called her to, the vocation of marriage and motherhood. Oftentimes, we forget that to every glory, there is a story. The story of St. Monica was a tragic one, it feels as though she had come to this world to suffer. Although we will never know if she ever victimized herself ( which we are tempted to do when it feels like if God had forgotten about us) we know that she offered up her suffering in prayer to the Lord. Modeling after our Holy Mother Mary, who also with the grace of God was able to bear the pain of her son’s suffering.
St. Monica had one task, and that was to make sure her family would journey to heaven with her. Her obedience, trust in God’s mercy, and patience inspire us today. Not only her husband and son had solid conversions to the faith but St. Augustine is one of the most influential saints and is Doctor of the Church. It is said that Monica prayed for 17 years for the conversion of Augustine.
Her story brings us much hope during these times, where the future might look a bit blurry. St. Monica prayed consistently and intentionally. She sacrificed her own life for her family‘s conversion. Not only was she granted her petition for every single member of her family, but God outdid Himself with the gift of the conversion of Saint Augustine. We are no different than the courageous St. Monica. Our God provides in due time. No prayer goes unanswered. St. Monica was able to witness the fruit of her prayers in her lifetime. Have faith!
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7
St. Monica, Pray For Us 🙏