August 27, 2023
Rewards of Persistent Prayer
St. Monica (331-387) was the mother of St. Augustine (whose feast day is August 28). Monica, her pagan and licentious husband Patricius, his cantankerous mother, and her three children (including Augustine) all lived together in North Africa.
There was plenty of potential for family strife and discord, but Monica’s patience and charity made the difference; her saintly example eventually brought about the conversions of her husband and mother-in-law.
Augustine, however, proved a tougher nut to crack; he indulged in a free and loose lifestyle, and adhered to a pagan philosophy condemned by the Church. After Patricius died, Monica tried to discipline her brilliant but wayward son (at one point even locking him out of her house), but to no avail. Monica’s constant sacrifices, prayers, and admonitions seemed to have little effect (other than annoying her son).
At the age of twenty-nine, Augustine tried to break free of his mother’s influence, traveling to Rome and then to Milan; a determined Monica followed him and was present when her son finally experienced a conversion. Augustine became a Christian in 387; St. Monica became ill and died soon after this. The time remaining to mother and son was short but beautiful, for they shared their faith and discussed the life to come.
From Johnnette Benkovic’s Graceful Living: Meditations to Help You Grow Closer to God Day by Day
“One thing only I ask you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be.”
— St. Monica, reported by her son, St. Augustine, in his Confessions
What holy soul may benefit by my remembrance at the altar? I promise to do so for the next month.
Other Saints We Remember Today
- St. Joseph Calasanctius (Calasanz) (1648), Priest, Founder of the Piarists
- Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- St. Caesarius of Arles (543), Bishop
image: Agustín Navarro, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons