Celebrating the Saints
In August, on Saturday the 27th, we celebrate Saint Monica’s day. For girls who have the name Monica, this is a celebration of their name. On “Name Day” it is customary for people who share the name of a saint to celebrate a special meal with their families, or receive special treats on this day.
Here is the story of Saint Monica: she was born in 331 A.D. in (Tagaste) present day Algeria. When she was very young, she was married off to the Roman pagan Patricius. He and his mother, who lived with the couple, shared a violent temper. This created a con-stant struggle for Monica as they refused to let her baptize their three children Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Through Monica’s constant prayers for her husband and mother in law she was able to convert them one year before the death of her spouse. The two younger children entered into religious life, but the 17 year old Augustine was uninterested, so
St. Monica sent him to Carthage for schooling. It was there that he became a Manichaean, a belief which saw the world as light and darkness, and when one died, they were removed from the world of matter and returned to the world of light, which is where life comes from. Upon his return from school and hearing of his beliefs, his mother threw him from their home.
A Mother's Vision
She later had a vision to reconcile with him. She went to the bishop who told her, “the child of those tears shall never perish”. With the help of the Bishop (later known as St. Ambrose) Augustine of Hippo converted to Christianity. He is known to us as St. Augustine of Hippo. In 1430, the pope ordered that her relics be brought to Rome for her final resting place. During the journey it was reported that many miracles happened.
St. Monica is the patron saint of wives and victims of abuse. Let us pray that she intercedes for women who are suffering around the world.