Monica was the mother of the great Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo and Doctor of the Church. She lived in the 4th century in North Africa. She was a devout Christian, married to Patricius, a pagan. Patricius was a violent and dissolute man. He detested his wife’s pious habits but loved her. Patricius would not allow any of the children to be baptized. Augustine followed the ways of his father but appeared to be more thoughtful. He grew dissatisfied with the materialistic philosophy of paganism and went to Milan in search of truth. Monica never ceased to pray and do penance for her son. When she followed him to Milan to rejoiced to discover that he had met Saint Ambrose, Bishop of Milan and that he had accepted the call of Christ.
Saint Monica spent the next months with her son, offering alms and praying at the shrines of the saints in Italy. The two were about to leave for North Africa when she died.’ I do not care where I am laid to rest,’ she is said to have said. It was enough for her that she had seen the salvation of her son. Her remains were later taken to Rome.
She is the patroness of mothers, women suffering difficult marriages, and of those anxious for their children. She is commemorated on August 27, the day before her son is honored.