Monica was raised a Christian but was given in marriage to a pagan official named Patricius. They had three sons. Patricius was not only a violent man, but he had a number of other bad habits as well. Monica remained patient. Other wives with marriage problems came to her for advice. A year before Patricius died, he was converted—due to Monica’s powerful example. In their early years of marriage, Monica’s mother-in-law turned against her because of ugly rumors spread by unhappy servants. Through patient forgiveness, Monica was able to win her cooperation.
Another source of worry for Monica was her son Augustine. This brilliant and gifted young man rejected the faith his mother had taught him. Augustine lived an immoral life and had a son although he was not married. Monica was ready to disown Augustine, but in a dream, it was revealed to her that eventually, he would come back to the faith. She prayed and fasted for her son and stayed close to him, following him to Rome and Milan. The day before she died, she and her son had a beautiful conversation about the joys of heaven.
O Lord, we pray to help us to have faith, patience and forgiveness like St. Monica. We pray that when difficulties arise, in our lives, to help us remember St. Monica and intercede to her for courage and strength through prayer. Amen.