August 27: ST. MONICA.
Patroness of Mothers, Married Women and Widowers
Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Monica. She is the persistent, determined, patient and loving mother of St. Augustine who never threw the towel on her son’s waywardly life, who as we know was a great sinner but later got converted to the Catholic faith after passing through turbulent years of sincere search for the truth, until he finally found what his heart was looking for in the Catholic Church.
Moreover, she had to deal with the infidelity and ill-temperedness of her husband, Patricius, a Roman pagan, and the cruel, unpleasant attitude of her mother-in-law who kept on criticizing her. Monica sought strength from God with her daily constant prayers and sacrifices for 20 years asking for the conversion of her son, her husband and her mother-in-law. As a result, the latter two got converted to the Catholic faith. The time for her son had to wait.
Patricius died a year after his conversion, when Augustine was about 17 yrs of age. Augustine was then in Carthage, living with a mistress, with whom he had his child. Monica prayed for the faith of her son. However, Augustine opted to form part of the Manichean heresy and because of this, she drove her away from her table. Nevertheless, she constantly prayed for Augustine and frequently consulted her bishop, asking for help; but, the bishop responded: “Don’t worry; it is impossible that a son of so many tears should be lost.”
When Augustine left her and had gone to Rome secretly, Monica followed her wayward son but when she arrived there, he had already gone to Milan, so there she went. In Milan, she met St. Ambrose who became her spiritual director and asked his help to re-orient her son. A trusting relationship between Ambrose and Augustine grew and finally, after 17 years of Augustine’s resistance, St. Monica’s persistent prayer bore fruit: St. Augustine, together with his son, got converted to Christianity and was baptized in 387 by St. Ambrose of Milan.
Dear friends, especially all mothers and widowers, in St. Monica, we find a wonderful example of a strong, determined, persistent woman of great faith, of persevering prayer and love for God, on whom she finds the strength to bear the daily difficulties of married and family life and who, out of love for her husband and son, did what she had to do in order to assure the spiritual well-being of her loved ones.
Let us pray for all mothers in the world so that they may have the same divine wisdom, faith, determination, hope and love which St. Monica had and so that they may put all the means at their reach −prayer, sacraments and sacrifices−, without giving up on their loved ones in order to gain eternal salvation for them.
Rest assured, dear mothers, that I will pray for all of you in the Holy Mass,
asking St. Monica and Our Lady, Mother of all mothers, for your person and intentions.
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei. CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS. We are also in Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness Hope you like our page and invite your friends as well to do so in order to help more people.
If you have friends who do not have a Facebook account but you think would benefit from our posts, they can receive our posts by email once they follow us and subscribe in http://www.catholicsstrivingforholiness.com