St. Monica, married woman and mother - Catholic Courier

St. Monica, married woman and mother

St. Monica was born in 332 in Tagaste, north Africa, where she was baptized as a Christian.

She eventually married and had children. She and her husband sent their son Augustine to Carthage to work on his studies. He was a gifted student, but was constantly distracted by carousing and partying.

Augustine’s behavior caused his mother great turmoil and distress. Upon his return to Tagaste, Monica refused to allow Augustine back home, because she was so upset by his sinful behavior. During a particularly tearful episode, a sacred figure appeared to her in a vision, telling her to dry her eyes; and she heard the words, "Your son is with you."

When Monica told Augustine about her vision, he answered that they could easily be together — if only she would abandon her faith. Monica argued, "He did not say I was with you: he said that you were with me."

Monica did not lose faith as Augustine continued to live a life of decadence. He was continually present in her mind and heart as she wept, fasted and prayed for his conversion.

The local bishop reminded her to be patient, saying, "God’s time will come." As Monica persisted in pleading for help in turning Augustine’s life around, the bishop sent her away with the words: "Go now, I beg you; it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish."

Monica learned that her son had traveled to Milan and had been drawn under the influence of the great Bishop Ambrose. At Easter that year, St. Augustine was baptized by St. Ambrose.

Countless generations of the faithful have invoked the intercession of St. Monica. To this day, the church honors her as a special patron of married women and as an example for Christian motherhood. Her feast day is Aug. 27.

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