St. Monica Overview
- Birth: 331 AD
- Location: North Africa (modern Algeria)
- Death: August 27, 387
- Beatification: N/A (Before the Congregation for the Causes of Saints)
- Canonized: Unknown (Before the Congregation for the Causes of Saints)
- Feast Day: August 27
- Patron Saint of: mothers, conversion, married women, alcoholics
St. Monica – Early Life
St. Monica lived in Northern Africa and was the mother of three children, the oldest of whom was St. Augustine of Hippo.
Though she was Christian, Monica married a pagan Roman official. Her husband had a horrible temper, and she had to endure the cruelties of her mother-in-law, but Monica exhibited extraordinary patience.
Through persistent fasting and prayer, Monica inspired her husband to become Christian before he died.
Road to Sainthood
Her son, Augustine, had a rebellious temperament as a young man and joined a heretical sect. This greatly distressed Monica. Yet God sustained her hope, and she continued to pray and fast for his conversion for many years.
She followed her son to Milan, where they both met the Bishop St. Ambrose. Monica’s prayers were finally answered when Augustine discovered in Christ the truth he had been seeking and asked to receive Baptism.
Monica and Augustine shared deep spiritual conversation, and her death inspired the writing of his famous autobiographical work.
St. Monica Quote
We get a taste of St. Monica’s wisdom in Augustine’s Confessions. Here’s a quote from her that inspired Augustine and can awaken your faith life as well:
“Son, for my own part I no longer find joy in anything in this world. What I am still to do here and why I am here I know not, now that I no longer hope for anything from this world. One thing there was, for which I desired to remain still a little longer in this life, that I should see you a Catholic Christian before I died. This God has granted me in superabundance, in that I now see you His servant to the contempt of all worldly happiness. What then am I doing here?”
St. Monica Prayer
Monica is a popular saint that mothers often turn to when struggling with their relationship with their children.
Consider this intercessory to ask St. Monica to intercede on our behalf:
Dear St. Monica, model of patience and perseverance, you never gave up on your Augustine, your son, as he meandered away from God and into a life of sin. Pray that we may remember that at times, we’ve all turned away from God. Ask God to bless us with a fraction of your patience, that we may bask in the fullness of joy that the love of God offers us. Through your intercession we ask God to watch over all mothers and heal, strengthen and bless the relationships they share with their children. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.
St. Monica and Your Prayer Life
Like St. Monica, most of us have loved ones who have left the faith, or who do not believe in God. Take a few moments to pray for them, that they may encounter and know God’s love.
St. Monica, pray for us.
- Saint Monica University (Cameroon)
- St. Monica Academy (Chicago)
- St. Monica Church (Chicago)
- St. Monica Catholic Church (Santa Monica, Calif)
- Church of St. Monica (NYC)
- St. Monica Catholic Church (East Peoria, Ill.)
- St. Monica Catholic School (Mercer Island, Wash.)
- St. Augustine of Hippo
- Mary Undoer of Knots