St. Monica

There is little known about Monica’s early life, but we do know she was born of Christian parents in North Africa in the year 333.  While still a young woman, her parents arranged her marriage to a pagan official named Patritius, in Tagaste. He was known to have a bad disposition and sometimes a volatile temper.  Monica was, on the other hand, a gentle soul who was very close to God.  Consequently, their marriage was a very happy one.

Though some of her habits (like praying) annoyed him, he was intrigued with her piety. Although he did not understand the faith, he admired his wife and her piety.  Over the years the couple had three children, two boys and a girl.  Monica’s greatest desire was to have her children baptized, but her husband would not allow it.  When her eldest son, Augustine, fell ill she was so distraught that her husband finally agreed to having him baptized.   However, Augustine recovered and Patritius recanted his consent of the baptism.

Finally, after many years, Monica’s sweetness, patience and good Christian example won over not only her husband but also her mother-in-law, and both became Catholics.  Patritius died only a year after his conversion.  Monica’s younger son, Navigius and her daughter both entered the religious life, but her eldest son Augustine fell into a life of sin. He became the source of much heartache for Monica and she spent many hours daily in prayer for this wayward son.  One priest once told her not to worry because, “it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.”  The Lord also gave Monica a vision that brought her consolation and hope that her son would repent and become a Christian.

After seventeen years, Monica’s prayers were answered.  In the year 387, Augustine was baptized by St. Ambrose.  Monica died later that same year while she was en route from Rome to Africa.  She is the patroness of married women as well as abuse victims, alcoholics, alcoholism, difficult marriages, disappointing children, homemakers, housewives, mothers, victims of adultery, victims of unfaithfulness, and widows.

Other Saints We Remember Today

Feast of the Holy Shroud

St. Gothard (Godehard) (1038), Bishop

St. Florian (304), Martyr, Patron of Poland and fireman

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention St. Monica | Catholic Exchange --

  • kford

    According to the Saints Calendar and Daily Planner, published by Tan Publishers, May 4 is the “Traditional” feast and August 27 is the “New” feast of St. Monica.

    Perhaps “qhrpfu” should do more research before making accusations as to the level of our Catholicism.

  • Monafurr

    I thought the feast day of St. Monica was changed to August 27.

  • Tom

    So did I think it was August 27

  • Laura K

    St. Monica’s feast day IS August 27th.

  • Monica

    St. Monica’s feast day was once May 4. In 1969, the Catholic Church revised their saints’ calendar. Her feast day is now observed the day before the feast of St. Augustine, her son.