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Saint Monica

AKA: Monnica

Born: 322 in Tagaste (Souk Ahrus), Roman North Africa (modern Algeria)

Died: 387 in Ostia, Italy, Roman Empire

Venerated: Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Anglican Communion
Oriental Orthodox Church
Lutheran Church

Canonized: Pre-Congregation

Feast Day: August 27 (Roman Catholic Church; Church of England; Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod)
May 4 (pre-1969 General Roman Calendar, Eastern Orthodox Church; Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Episcopal Church in the United States of America)

Patronages: Abuse Victims
Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers
Difficult Marriages
Disappointing Children
Married Women
Victims of Adultery
Victims of Verbal Abuse
Places: Manaoag, Pangasian, Philippines
Don Galo, Paranaque City, Philippines
Santa Monica, California, United States
Saint Monica University, Buea, Cameroon
Pinamungajan, Cebu, Philippines
Saint Monique Valais
Binangonan, Rizal, Philippines
Santa Monica Parish Church (Angat) Bulacan

Representation: Cincture

Saint Monica came into the world in the year 322.  As soon as she was old enough she was married to Patricius, a pagan citizen of Tagaste.  Although Patricius was a man of high temper, she bore all trials with great patience.  Her example and gentle conduct exercised such an influence over him that he was finally converted to Christianity.  He died the year after his baptism.

The great cross of her life was the conduct of her son, Augustine, who was seventeen years of age when his father died in 371.  His mother prayed long and fervently for his conversion.  When he left her in Africa to go to Italy, she followed him and found him at Milan, where the words of Saint Ambrose had already convinced him of the falsehood of Manichean doctrines, which he abandoned without being entirely converted.

In August 386, Saint Monica had the long-coveted happiness of seeing her son return to God.  He was baptized by Saint Ambrose on Easter eve the following year and soon after, with his mother and some friends, he set out for Africa.  But Saint Monica's work was done; her son was converted; the sinner had become the Saint.  She fell sick on the road and died at Ostia, from where they were to embark, in 387.

Prayer: God, Comforter of the afflicted, You accepted Saint Monica's tears to bring about the conversion of her son Saint Augustine.  Through their intercession, grant that we may have contrition for our sins and experience the grace of Your pardon.  Amen.