The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Monica on Aug. 27. She is the mother of Doctor of the Church Saint Augustine of Hippo and is particularly known for her perseverance in prayer.
Here are some facts about this incredible saint, which will surely inspire your faith in God’s omnipotent power!
1) Saint Monica’s example converted her husband and mother-in-law.
Even though this fourth-century saint was a Christian, her parents gave her away to a man named Patritius. Both he and his mother were pagans with violent tempers.
Saint Monica endured this with patience and kindness, and her example eventually led to their conversion to Christianity.
2) She prayed for Saint Augustine for 17 years before his conversion.
Saint Monica is most known for her perseverance in prayer. Her son, Saint Augustine of Hippo, lived a life of immorality, most notably that of lust and impurity, before converting to Catholicism. Throughout these years, she endured tremendous suffering.
Augustine rejected her on multiple accounts, but she continued to love, pray, and nurture her son throughout his wayward time.
3) She felt discouraged but never gave up.
Saint Monica cried many times over her son’s transgressions but received affirmation from God on several accounts.
Saint Monica had a dream of herself weeping over her son, and a figure told her that he was still with her.
In his autobiography, “The Confessions of Saint Augustine,” St. Augustine wrote, “that it was my soul’s doom she was lamenting…” The figure told St. Monica to have peace, and “see that where she was there I was also.”
Saint Monica also received encouragement from a local bishop, who told her that “God’s time will come.” He added, “Go now, I beg you; it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.”
4) She knew her purpose in life.
Saint Monica wept, prayed, and sacrificed for her son for many years. Her greatest desire in life was to see her son’s conversion to Catholicism, and once this happened, she believed she fulfilled her purpose. She said to Augustine just a few days before she contracted a fever, which resulted in her death:
“My son, speaking of myself, nothing earthly delights me any longer. I do not know why I am still here or why I should remain here. I have no further earthly desires.”
5) She is the patron saint of wives, mothers, conversions, alcoholics and abuse victims
Especially in a time when conversion is needed in our world, Saint Monica is a great example of faith and hope. God’s grace is infinite, and he will never abandon us.
Let us look to Saint Monica’s example of perseverance—understanding that God will never abandon us, even in the hardest times.
Prayer to Saint Monica:
Dear Saint Monica,
troubled wife and mother,
many sorrows pierced your heart during your lifetime.
Yet, you never despaired or lost faith.
With confidence, persistence, and profound faith,
you prayed daily for the conversion
of your beloved husband, Patricius,
and your beloved son, Augustine;
your prayers were answered.
Grant me that same fortitude, patience,
and trust in the Lord.
Intercede for me, dear St. Monica,
that God may favorably hear my plea for
(Mention your intention here.)
and grant me the grace to accept His Will in all things,
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.