Some Awesome People

Friday, May 4, 2012

Saint Monica

(331– 387)

Feastday: May 4

The woman we know as St. Monica was born into a Christian family in Tagasste, Algeria, across the Mediterranean Sea from Rome, in 332 AD.

Like many of her girl friends, she married young. Her husband Patricius - a minor Roman government official - was a pagan.  Christians were few and far between in those days.  The marriage was blessed with three children, the oldest and most famous named Augustine.

Patricius was not a model husband.  He was short tempered and a carouser.  Yet Monica prayed ceaselessly for his conversion.  Her sweet piety, patience and persistence paid off.  One day, Patricius accepted Baptism but he lived only a short year as a Christian before he died.

Her son Augustine was a constant concern for this patient and forgiving mother.  Brilliant and likable, Augustine, much to Monica's dismay, took after his father - refused to accept Baptism and began saying the Manichean heresy was right and the Christians wrong.  For years Monica prayed, fasted and cried silently into her pillow for the wasted, dissolute life her oldest was leading.

God was listening.  He heard and finally answered these prayers of this faithful mother.  Augustine, abandoning his sinful ways, accepted   Baptism from the great preacher, scholar and Doctor of the Church, St Ambrose of Milan, on Easter Sunday, 387 AD. Augastine later became a bishop and one of the greatest teachers in the history of the Church.

St. Augustine and St. Monica

Augustine's mother, St Monica, died shortly after at the age of 55, secure in the knowledge that her son had heard God's call and her work on earth was finished.

St Monica is the patroness of troubled parents, married women and widows.

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