Skip to comments.St. Monica
Posted on 05/04/2002 12:22:24 AM PDT by nickcarraway
Title: St. Monica
Author: Gail Buckley
Date: Saturday, May 04, 2002
There is little known about Monicas early life, but we do know she was born of Christian parents in North Africa in the year 333. While still a young woman, her parents arranged her marriage to a pagan official, named Patirtius, in Tagaste. He was known to have a bad disposition and sometimes a volatile temper. Monica was, on the other hand, a gentle soul who was very close to God. Consequently, their marriage was a very happy one.
Though some of her habits (like praying) annoyed him, he was intrigued with her piety. Although he did not understand the faith, he admired his wife and her piety. Over the years the couple had three children, two boys and a girl. Monicas greatest desire was to have her children baptized but her husband would not allow it. When her eldest son, Augustine, fell ill she was so distraught that her husband finally agreed to having him baptized. However, Augustine recovered and Patirtius recanted his consent of the baptism.
Finally after many years, Monicas sweetness, patience and good Christian example won over not only her husband but also her mother-in-law, and both became Catholics. Patirtius, died only a year after his conversion. Monicas younger son, Navigius and her daughter both entered the religious life, but her eldest son Augustine fell into a life of sin. He became the source of much heartache for Monica and she spent many hours daily in prayer for this wayward son. One priest once told her not to worry because, it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish. The Lord also gave Monica a vision once that brought her consolation and hope that her son would repent and become a Christian.
After seventeen years, Monicas prayers were answered. In the year 387, Augustine was baptized by St. Ambrose. Monica died later that same year while she was in route from Rome to Africa. She is the patroness of married women as well as these: abuse victims, alcoholics, alcoholism, difficult marriages, disappointing children, homemakers, housewives, mothers, victims of adultery, victims of unfaithfulness, and widows.
There is much to learn from the life of Saint Monica. Many mothers can identify with the love and concern she had for her son. She gives great hope to mothers of wayward children to persevere in prayer. As we now know, Monicas son, Augustine, not only was finally baptized, but became a great doctor and saint of the Church himself. If not for her prayers the Church would not have all the great works of St. Augustine. He also credited his mother with his conversion.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, St. Monica has shown us the power of patience and prayer. In our human way of seeing things, we would have never believed that there would be hope for such a wayward child as Augustine. But as Christians, we know You can do anything, Father. We pray for all our wayward children that they, like Augustine, will repent and give their lives to You. We ask today, dear Father, to you give us hearts like Monicas, so we might be faithful in prayer and diligent in living holy lives; knowing our prayers will also be answered. We ask this in the Holy Name of Jesus. Amen.
Ooops!. It's a different Monica.
Based on what I've been learning about the RCC in recent weeks, I am calling into question my claim to be Catholic. If I had known in early 2001 what I know now, I doubt that I would have joined the Church. It's appearing more and more to me that much of what I had been told by Protestants about the RCC is true.
If you really are you should be ashamed of yourself.
No, the Catholics who have unquestioningly supported the Church hierarchy should be ashamed of themselves. They are as responsible for what's happening to the RCC as the corrupt Bishops.
However, thanks for your post. It did make me realize that I need to update my profile.
BTTT on 08-27-04
Indeed a wonderful role model for all of us.
Andrea del Verrocchio
S. Spirito, Florence
"The child of those tears shall never perish."
Monica, a saint especially revered by mothers because of her tireless prayers for the conversion of her wayward son, Augustine, was born of Christian parents in Tagaste, North Africa in 333, and died in Ostia, near Rome, in 387. She was married young to a government official, Patricius, who was not a Christian, and had a bad temper, though she bore her burdens patiently, and their life together was relatively peaceful. Three children were born to, Augustine, Navigius, and a daughter, Perpetua.
Augustine, the eldest son, though brilliant, was, according to his own account, a lazy and dissolute youth whose bad behavior caused his mother much grief especially so after he went away to school at Madaura and to Carthage. Although Patricius became a Christian not long before he died, Augustine persisted in his pursuit of pleasure, and, as a nineteen-year-old student, joined the heretical Manichaean sect. When he began to spout heresies, Monica became alarmed, and intensified her efforts to bring him to Christ. In the Confessions, Augustine recounts Monica's dream which consoled and encouraged her:
"In her dream she saw herself standing on a sort of wooden rule, and saw a bright youth approaching her, joyous and smiling at her, while she was grieving and bowed down with sorrow. But when he inquired of her the cause of her sorrow and daily weeping (not to learn from her, but to teach her, as is customary in visions), and when she answered that it was my soul's doom she was lamenting, he bade her rest content and told her to look and see that where she was there I was also. And when she looked she saw me standing near her on the same rule." (Confessions, Book III, 9.14).
During this anguished period of prayer for her son, Monica consulted a bishop who had himself been a Manichaean before he became a Christian. He declined to intervene with Augustine, whom, the bishop correctly observed, was not open to hearing the truth. She persisted tearfully, but he refused to intervene. Nevertheless, the bishop consoled Monica that "the child of those tears shall never perish", which she took as a sign from God. Though he continued in his heresies for nine years, Monica followed Augustine to Rome and then to Milan.in an effort to rescue her son from his errors. In Milan she met Ambrose, who helped lead Augustine into the true faith.
A few months after his conversion, Augustine, Monica and Adeodatus, set out to return to Africa, but Monica died at Ostia, the ancient port city of Rome, and she was buried there. Augustine was so deeply moved by his mother's death that he was inspired to write his Confessions, "So be fulfilled what my mother desired of me--more richly in the prayers of so many gained for her through these confessions of mine than by my prayers alone" (Book IX.13.37)
An account of Monica's early life, her childhood, marriage, her final days and her death, is given in Confessions Book IX, 8-12. He expresses his gratitude for her life:
"I will not speak of her gifts, but of thy gift in her; for she neither made herself nor trained herself. Thou didst create her, and neither her father nor her mother knew what kind of being was to come forth from them. And it was the rod of thy Christ, the discipline of thy only Son, that trained her in thy fear, in the house of one of thy faithful ones who was a sound member of thy Church" (IX.8.7).
Centuries later, Monica's body was reburied in Rome, and eventually her relics were interred in a chapel left of the high altar of the Church of St. Augustine in Rome.
The power of a mother’s prayers!
Prayer to St. Monica
Exemplary Mother of the great Augustine, you perseveringly pursued your wayward son not with wild threats but with prayerful cries to heaven.
Intercede for all mothers in our day so that they may learn to draw their children to God. Teach them how to remain close to their children, even the prodigal sons and daughters who have sadly gone astray. Amen.