St Monica

St Monica – 4 May

St Monica is a wonderful example for any mother or wife struggling with her child or in her marriage.

St Monica was the mother of St Augustine.

In his biography, ‘Confessions’ St Augustine wrote about his mother’s piousness.

St Monica’s husband had a violent temper and was not Christian. Inspired by St Monica’s patience, kindness and her Christian example, her husband converted to Christianity a year before his death.

Augustine her son lead an immoral and sinful life. He later turned to Manicheanism and St Monica tried very hard to draw him away. She had a dream in which she was told to be patient and gentle with her son. St Augustine remained Manchiean for nine years, but Monica never gave up and she continued in patience to pray that her son would choose Christ and turn away from his sinful life. She sought help from a bishop who had once been a Manichean himself, but he advised her not to argue with Augustine. The bishop told her “Go on your way, and God bless you, for it is not possible that the son of these tears should be lost.”

St. Monica went to Rome with Augustine and there he met Saint Ambrose and was greatly impressed by his preaching. Bishop Ambrose had great respect for St Monica. One day while Augustine was reading the New Testament, he came to the passage of Paul’s Letter to the Romans:

“The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”

Romans 13: 12-14.

Augustine immediately decided to “put aside the deeds of darkness,” and instead to clothe himself in the Lord Jesus Christ. He was baptized on Easter Eve 387. Saint Monica’s patience and prayers were rewarded and Saint Augustine is a Doctor of the Church.

May all mothers and wives be inspired by St Monica’s example of patience and prayer. We pray for all those wives struggling in their marriages or with their children. May Saint Monica intercede for them always. Amen

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