Patroness of Mothers and Widows
St. Monica came into the world in the year 333. As soon as she was old enough she was married to Patricius, a pagan citizen of Tagaste. Although Patricius was a man of high temper, she bore all trials with great patience. Her example and gentle conduct exercised such an influence over him that he was finally converted to Christianity. He died the year after his baptism.
The great cross of the Saint’s life was the conduct of her son, Augustine, who was seventeen years of age when his father died in 371. His mother prayed long and fervently for his conversion. When he left her in Africa to go to Italy, she followed him and found him at Milan, where the words of St. Ambrose had already convinced him of the falsehood of Manichean doctrines, which he abandoned without being entirely converted.
In August, 386, St. Monica had the long-coveted happiness of seeing her son return to God. He was baptized by St. Ambrose on Easter eve the following year and soon after, with his mother and some friends, he set out for Africa. But St. Monica’s work was done; her son was converted; the sinner had become a Saint. She fell sick and the road and died at Ostia, from where they were to embark, in 387.
PRAYER: God, Comforter of the afflicted, You accepted St. Monica’s tears to bring about the conversion of her son St. Augustine. Through their intercession, grant that we may have contrition for our sins and experience the grace of Your pardon. Amen.