Born in Thagaste (present-day Souk Ahras, Algeria), Saint Monica is the mother of Saint Augustine and his two siblings. She is most especially known as the “Patroness of Mothers,” as she became a widow at a young age and had to raise her children all on her own.
Monica is admired by many for her spiritual ways of raising and guiding her children. This is most evident in the case of Augustine who, at age 17, started living a life that was against the will of his mother and of course, the God Almighty.
For some time, Monica refused to be associated with Augustine for of his wrongdoings. But after she had a vision that her prodigal son would eventually return to the faith, Monica began staying closer to Augustine and religiously praying for him. (Read: Let St. Monica teach you how to deal with ‘pasaway’ loved ones)
When Augustine was 29, he and Monica went to Milan, Italy. There, they met Saint Ambrose who eventually became their spiritual director. Through his guidance, Monica was able to finally let go of her habit of wanting to control her son’s life and decisions. Gradually, the mom-saint was able to completely put her faith in God when it comes to guiding Augustine.
In the years that followed, Monica became a leader of the devout women in Milan while also continuing her daily prayers for Augustine. In 387, she became severely ill and already knew that her days in the world are almost over. Before her death, Monica popularly told Augustine, “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.”
Today, St. Monica is remembered through the writings of Saint Augustine—especially his Confessions. Her feast day is celebrated annually on the 27th of August.
Prayer to St. Monica, Patroness of Mothers
Blessed Monica, mother of St. Augustine,
we give thanks to our Father in Heaven
Who looked with mercy upon your tears
over your wayward son.
His conversion and heroic sanctification
were the fruit of your prayers.
Dear St. Monica
we now ask you to pray with us
for all those sons and daughters that have wandered away from God,
and to add your prayers to those of all mothers
who are worried over their children.
Pray also for us that,
following your example, we may,
in the company of our children,
one day enjoy the eternal vision of our Father in Heaven.
Prayer from archspm.org.