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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Monnica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387.

Monnica, the mother of Augustine (see August 28) has long been regarded as a paragon of Christian motherhood. She was certainly a very loving and loyal wife, and the portrait Augustine presents of her in his writing is of an extraordinary, faith-filled mother.

As a young woman Monnica overcame a drinking problem. Baptized soon afterward, she led a life of virtue from that time on. She was gentle and patient with her pagan husband's infidelity and violent temper, and her prayers and example led him to Christianity a year before his death. Monnica was devoted to her three children, but Augustine, the eldest, was as dissolute as he was brilliant. She prayed and fasted relentlessly on his behalf, following him to Rome and beyond until, after seventeen years of resistance, Augustine was baptized in Milan.

Monnica was an active participant in the revolutionary Christian movement. Though dedicated to her role as wife and mother, she could hardly be called a passive domestic. She was a positive influence in her son's life, perhaps because she led a life of her own. Monnica modeled constancy, affection, unselfishness, patience, wisdom, and integrity.

Almighty and everlasting God, who did enkindle the flame of your love in the heart of your servant Monnica: Grant to us, your humble servants, the same faith and power of love; that, as we rejoice in her triumph, we may profit by her example; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

O Lord, through spiritual discipline you strengthened your servant Monica to persevere in offering her love and prayers and tears for the conversion of her husband and of Augustine their son: Deepen our devotion, we pray, and use us in accordance with your will to bring others, even our own kindred, to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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