Today we celebrate the Memorial of St. Monica.
St. Monica is an example of those holy matrons of the ancient Church who proved very influential in their own quiet way.
She was born in Tagaste, northern Africa and died in Ostia, near Rome. Monica was a Christian, but her husband Patricius was a pagan and a man of loose morals. Monica's virtues and prayers, however, converted him, and he was baptized a year before his death. When her son, Augustine, joined the Manichean sect and went astray in faith and morals, Monica's tears and prayers for her son were incessant. She followed him to Milan, where Augustine went to teach, and there continued to storm heaven with her prayers for her son. Finally, she had the joy of witnessing St. Ambrose baptize Augustine in 387. She died in Ostia, as she and her son gazed at the sea and discoursed about the joys of the blessed.
O God, who console the sorrowful and who mercifully accepted the motherly tears of Saint Monica for the conversion of her son Augustine, grant us, through the intercession of them both, that we may bitterly regret our sins and find the grace of your pardon.