Wednesday, May 4, 2011

St. Monica: 5 May 2011 (transferred from 4 May)

St. Monica (333-387)

Monica, probably a Berber, was born to Christian parents in Tagaste, North Africa. Married at an early age to Patritius, a pagan, she suffered much. He was annoyed at her prayers and alms giving. She was matron to the women and mothers of Tagaste to whom she witnessed and was listened to, because they knew her suffering.

Monica had three children, Augustine, Navigius, and her only daughter, Perpetua. Patritius refused to let her have the children baptised, which caused her sadness as well. After Augustine passed through a period of sickness, she concentrated her efforts on him. He was wayward and by his own admission, lazy. He went to school and fell into grievous sin. His father died soon after becoming a Christian, and Monica’s patient witness resulted in her mother-in-law becoming a Christian as well. Augustine joined the Manicheans, while his siblings became Christians. Uttering heresies at the table, Monica drove him away, but guided by a vision she recalled him. Guided by a bishop, she continued fervent prayer and fasting for her son and followed him to Rome and then to Milan. At Milan, she met St. Ambrose, and after 17 years of prayer for her resisting son, had the joy of seeing him convert to Christianity and be baptised in Milan. She lived in joy with her son in Cassicum, where after six months they decided to return to Africa. On the return trip, Monica died at Ostia, where she was buried.

Readings: Psalm 115:12-18
Judges 13:2-8
Galatians 4:1-12a
Luke 7:11-17* or John 16:20-42*

Father, you gave Monica the spiritual gifts to persevere in prayer for the conversion of her husband and son. Grant that we may so persevere in our prayers as to draw nearer to you each day. This we ask through Yeshua haMoshiach who lives and reigns with you and Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (white)

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