St. Monica, hopeful and prayerful

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By Mel Mantanona

The love of a mother is one of irrevocable beauty and like no other. One of the most famous mother saints is St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine, renowned philosopher, theologian, and Doctor of the Church.

St. Monica was raised a Christian though found herself wedded off at a young age to a Roman pagan, Patricius, who was known for his violent temper which he had gotten from his mother who also lived with them.

Monica was devout and prayerful and despite being bothered by it, Patricius was known to have respected her beliefs. Together, they had three children, Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Monica wanted to have her children baptized but her husband wouldn’t allow it.

Augustine became ill and Patricius allowed it but when Augustine became healthy again, Patricius wouldn’t agree anymore.

Monica prayed fervently for all the members in her family and soon she saw her prayers answered. A year before her husband’s death, he along with his mother, converted into Christianity and Navigius and Perpetua eventually joined religious orders.

However, Augustine was the only odd one out of the family.

After his father’s death, Monica sent him away for school and soon discovered that Augustine had accepted Manichean heresy, a heresy that all flesh is evil, and began living a morally wrong life.

This distressed her greatly and she wouldn’t allow him to eat or sleep in her house. One night she had a vision of Augustine returning to the faith and from then on, she remained close to him and prayed for his conversion.

She followed him everywhere in hopes of him changing his lifestyle. In time, Augustine was baptized by Saint Ambrose.

St. Monica is the patron saint of wives and abuse victims and her feast day is August 27, a day before her son’s.

Prayer through the intercession of Saint Monica

Dear Saint Monica, you were once the mournful mother of a prodigal son. Your faithfulness to prayer brought you and your son so close to God that you are now with him in eternity. By your intercession and God’s grace, your son St. Augustine became a great and venerable Saint of the Church. Please take my request to God with the same fervor and persistence with which you prayed for your own son. (Mention your intentions here) With your needs, worries and anxieties, you threw yourself on the mercy and providence of God. Through sorrow and pain, you constantly devoted yourself to God. Pray for me, that I might join you in such a deep faith in God’s goodness and mercy. Above all, dear Saint Monica, pray for me, that I may, like your son, turn from my sin and become a great saint for the glory of God. Amen.

Stay tuned next week to read about St. Monica’s son, St. Augustine!

Information, prayer, and photo from Catholic.org, FranciscanMedia.org, and praymorenovenas.com.