Born: 333 in Thagaste, Numidia, Roman Empire
Died: 387 in Ostia, Italy, Roman Empire
Venerated: Roman Catholic Church; Eastern Orthodox Church; Anglican Communion, Oriental Orthodox Church; Lutheran Church
Feast Day: August 27 (Roman Catholic Church; Church of England; Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod)
May 4 (pre-1969 General Roman Calendar, Eastern Orthodox Church; Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Episcopal Church in the United States of America)
Patronages: Difficult Marriages; Disappointing Children; Victims of Adultery or unfaithfulness; Victims of (Verbal) Abuse; Conversion of Relatives
PLACES: Manaoag, Pangasian, Philippines; Don Galo, Paranaque City, Philippines; Santa Monica, California, United States; Saint Monica University, Buea, Cameroon; Pinamungajan, Cebu, Philippines; Saint Monique Valais; Binangonan, Rizal, Philippines; Santa Monica Parish Church (Angat) Bulacan
Saint 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 her 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 Saint Ambrose had already convinced him of the falsehood of Manichean doctrines, which he abandoned without being entirely converted.
In August 386, Saint Monica had the long-coveted happiness of seeing her son return to God. He was baptized by Saint Ambrose on Easter eve the following year and soon after, with his mother and some friends, he set out for Africa. But Saint Monica's work was done; her son was converted; the sinner had become the Saint. She fell sick on the road and died at Ostia, from where they were to embark, in 387.
PRAYER: God, Comforter of the afflicted, You accepted Saint Monica's tears to bring about the conversion of her son Saint Augustine. Through their intercession, grant that we may have contrition for our sins and experience the grace of Your pardon. Amen.