St. Monica was born in Africa.
She first converted her pagan husband, Patricius, and then, by her tears and unceasing prayers, her son St. Augustine, who is regarded as one of the greatest Doctors of the Western Church.
She once asked St. Ambrose, her Spiritual Director, for advice regarding the observance of religious practices and devotions, though Catholic, differed from one locale to another. He responded:
When I am here, I do not fast on Saturday, but I fast when I am in Rome; do the same and always follow the custom and discipline of the Church as it is observed in the particular locality in which you find yourself.
Shortly after the conversion and baptism of her son Augustine, she said:
Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.
Shortly thereafter, she became ill, suffered for nine days (a novena) before her soul was dis-infused from her body (i.e. in common parlance ‘she died’ but in reality her earthly test came to an end, her soul left her body, at that time when God, in His infinite knowledge, and according to His perfect plans and timetable, called her to her eternal reward).
Saint Monica died at Ostia in 387 A.D.
She is the Patron Saint of married women, mothers, alcoholics and of parents whose children have separated themselves from the Church.
St. Monica, pray for us and for our loved ones!
Dear Jesus, I Thank Thee for the graces Thou hast bestowed upon Saint Monica and on her son Saint Augustine and upon all of Thy Angels and Saints. Have mercy on us.
In Thy great mercy, forgive our sinfulness, heal our brokenness and renew our hearts so that we may be one with Thee. Amen.