The Feast Day of Saint Monica
There is nothing quite as persuasive as the tears of a mother for her child. The saint whose feast day is today, St. Monica, is one such mother.
Her name is probably better known by the resort city in Southern California named after her, Santa Monica, a beach side city famous for its surf and sun.
St. Monica was born in year 331 AD near the coast of North Africa, in the city of Thagaste, now located in Algeria; then in the Roman Empire.
Monica was married at a young age to a man named Patricius. It was an arranged marriage and not altogether happy. Patricius did not like Monica’s religious devotions and she apparently could be quite sarcastic.
When Patricius died, their older son was studying in Cathase, now in modern day Tunia, also in the North Africa coast. The son was 17 years old and had a group of friends whom Monica did not like. Not to mention the young lady with whom he was living with and with whom had a son. After Patricius died, Monica moved in with her son, his girlfriend, her grandson. One can only imagine the dinner table in that house.
When her son was in his twenties, he went to Rome and tricked his mother into not following him. But she did anyway. Then he moved to Milan and she followed him again.
Her son had no choice but to have her live in his household. It was both custom and the law for grown children to take care of their elderly parents; especially their mother when she was widowed. These days, there were no such things as retirement homes or nursing homes.
We know from her son’s writings that his mother cried every night over his marginal lifestyle. Her prayers eventually wore him down and he became a Christian.
Shortly after his baptism, Monica died.
Her son went on to become a bishop and the most famous Theologian of his time, and certainly one of the most influential of all time.
His name was Augustine and his feast day is . . . tomorrow.