The Church that Feeds People

Pentecost service

Saints Are Us

St. Monica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo

painting of St. Augustine and St. Monica
St. Augustine & St. Monica
(painting by Ary Sheffer, 1795-1858)

Monica was born in North Africa around the year 331 CE of Berber parents. She was married to a provincial of Tagaste named Patricricius, who was known for his violent outburst and temper. He was an alcoholic. For years she prayed for her husband, who was converted to Christ and baptized before his death.

Among her children Augustine, later Bishop of Hippo, spent a wild youth. He was a gifted man. She saw in him great promise and spent years praying for his conversion. While in Milan in the year 387 he was baptized by St. Ambrose. Augustine went on to tell the story of Monica in his Confessions. Their names are eternally linked in Christian History.

Prayers and tears were Monica’s way of interceding for her husband and son. The most powerful prayer is that of a spouse and a parent; only the heart of one so closely linked by love can pray such a perfect and unselfish prayer. I think the lesson we can learn from her life is to pray from our hearts for those whose lives are most closely linked to ours. Sometimes our most pressing ministry is to those who are closest to us. She died in 387 CE. The Church remembers her on May 4th each year. She is the Patron of Parents, Spouses, Families, and Troubled Relationships.

See you next time,
I am your bro. John, O.C.P.

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