Saturday, May 09, 2009

St. Monica

St. Monica is one of my favorite Saints. Her story involves no angels or incorruptible bodies, but is one of quiet miracles and persistent faith. It seems at once mundane and holy, and reads a bit like an episode of The View. Admittedly, my family reminds me of hers. There have been no Christians for several generations. I wish I had the dedication to pray for them as much as St. Monica did.

Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in North Africa, who was much older than she, and although generous, was also violent tempered. His mother lived with them and was equally difficult, which proved a constant challenge to Monica. She had three children; Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua.

Through her patience and prayers, she was able to convert her husband and his mother to the catholic faith in 370· He died a year later. Perpetua and Navigius entered the religious Life.

Augustine was much more difficult, and Monica prayed for him for 17 years, begging the prayers of priests who, for a while, tried to avoid her because of her persistence at this seemingly hopeless endeavor. One priest consoled her by saying, "it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish." This thought, coupled with a vision that she had received, strengthened her. Augustine was baptized by St. Ambrose in 387. Monica died later that same year, on the way back to Africa from Rome in the Italian town of Ostia.

Monica is the patroness of abuse victims, converts, mothers, and all women.

"O Lord, who through spiritual discipline didst strengthen thy servant Monica to persevere in offering her love and prayers and tears for the conversion of her husband and of Augustine their son: Deepen our devotion, we beseech thee, and use us in accordance with thy will to bring others, even our own kindred, to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; who with thee and theHoly Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."


Thom Curnutte said...

I often ask for Monica's prayers. Thanks for this.

BillyD said...

Any idea why she's the patroness of abuse victims?

Thom Curnutte said...

Patritius, her husband, was said to have had a violent temper.

eric said...

^ What he said :)