Saint Monica a Mother's Saint
Saint Monica is a patron saint for mothers and wives. She was an exemplary woman who never gave up hope and her faith in God among all tribulations in her family life.
If there are mothers out there who suffer from children gone astray, hear is your saint whom you could take as a role model. Also if there are wives out there who’s husbands are being disloyal or abusive, St Monica is your saint whom you could ask for prayer.
The Life Story of Monica - Mother of the Great St Augustine
St Monica was born in the year 332 in Tagaste, North Africa. Monica had a conversion experience at a very young age and lived a life of virtue.
When she reached a marriageable age, her parents gave her in marriage to a non-Christian man named Patricius. Monica’s husband Patricius, not only came home drunk each day but had a violent temper and Monica was often the victim of his rage. Patricius was neither a faithful husband and therefore, Monica’s life was full of trials.
Monica endured all her trials with patience, gentleness and kindness. She would daily pray for the conversion of her husband, even though he would oppose her Christian practices. Her strong faith and hope in God’s mercy finally payed off. Patricius accepted his wife’s faith a year before his death. He admitted that he admired his wife’s strong faith and it was her unwavering kindness towards him that changed him.
Here is a challenge for us married people. Today's world view about marriage and divorce contradicts with Monica's values and yet we are all called to be saints..
St Augustine, St Monica’s son was seventeen when his father died.
Monica and Patricius had three children out of whom St Augustine was the son who was to give his mother the worst heart aches.
St Augustine was brilliant in his studies and therefore was sent to Carthage, so he could develop his talents and become a man of culture. Although he excelled in his studies, his behaviour became unacceptable to his mother. Not only that he went into lose living with women, alcohol and addictions of all kinds, but also he got involved with a cult called Manichaeism. One could only imagine the anguish of this poor mother Saint Monica.
Monica never gave up her prayers for her son. She would fast, cry and beg God for her son’s conversion. Legend says that a drain formed in the ground where her tears fell while she prayed for her son. Monica would approach the local bishop and ask them to win her son over to the faith.
The Bishop would often console her saying, “God’s time will come. Go now, it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish”. Monica was a mother who never gave up.
Finally the time came when Augustine was twenty nine a successful teacher then, had to work under the influence of Bishop Ambrose. Monica found that her son had at this stage given up Manichaeism. Monica made friends with Bishop Ambrose in order to help her son give up his current lifestyle.
For her greatest Joy, Augustine not only embraced Christianity during an Easter celebration, but he decided to live a life of celibacy and devote himself to God’s service. St Augustine, was not only a wonderful Bishop, but later became one of the greatest saints and doctors of the Catholic church. This was the culminating point of his mother's prayers being answered.
Can we mother's persevere like St Monica?
At Monica's death bed she said to her son Augustine:
“I do not know what there is left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled. All I wished for was that I might see you a Catholic and a child of Heaven. God granted me even more than this in making you despise earthly felicity and consecrate yourself to His service”.
Saint Monica therefore, has been honoured for generations as a special patroness of married women and an example for Christian motherhood.
In some parts of the world her feast day is celebrated on the 4th of May whereas in other parts like Australia, Saint Monica’s feast day is celebrated on the 27th of August.
Saint Monica’s relics are currently venerated at the church of San Agostino in Rome.
Prayer to Saint Monica
Exemplary Mother of the Great Augustine,
You perseveringly pursued your wayward son
Not with threats but with prayerful cries to heaven.
Intercede for all mothers in our day
So that they may learn to draw their children to God.
Teach them how to remain close to their children,
Even the prodigal sons and daughters who have sadly gone astray.
Dear St Monica, troubled wife and mother,
many sorrows pierced your heart during your lifetime.
Yet, you never despaired or lost faith.
With confidence, persistence, and profound faith,
you prayed daily for the conversion
of your beloved husband, Patricius,
and your beloved son, Augustine;
your prayers were answered.
Grant me that same fortitude, patience,
and trust in the Lord.
Intercede for me, dear St Monica,
that God may favorably hear my plea.
(mention your intention here)
Grant me the grace to accept His Will in all things,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Return from Saint Monica to the Life of Saints.
Return from Saint Monica to the Catholic Prayers.
Return from St Monica to the story of her son, St Augustine.