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The Church celebrates today the life and example of Saint Monica, mother of the great Saint Augustine. Her life was one of much suffering, for she deeply cared about the spiritual salvation of her family and was distressed when it appeared all would be lost.
Throughout her life, Saint Monica never gave up the practice of her faith. Even in the midst of persecution from her husband and mother-in-law, she remained steadfast in her Christian identity. Her piety and care for others ultimately won over the hearts of her husband and mother-in-law, who were eventually baptized.
However, it was her son’s poor choices that gave her much suffering. It took seventeen years for Saint Augustine to fully renounce his way of life and embrace Christianity. After seeing him received into the Church, Saint Monica 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.”
The witness of Saint Monica’s life is a great example of Pope Francis’ evangelization intention for the month of August, “that Christians may live the Gospel, giving witness to faith, honesty, and love of neighbor.” It was her witness of faith and deep love of others that provided a constant inspiration to her husband, son and mother-in-law. In particular, without her honesty and constant intercession, her son would have never become one of the most revered saints in the Catholic Church.
May we follow her example and seek to live the Gospel with great fervor, allowing our love of God to form our love of neighbor.
- Philip Kosloski
Writer and Content Manager
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (USA)