Today we celebrate St Monica. Monica was born in North Africa of Christian parents in 332 and she was married to a pagan named Patricius, whom she converted to Christianity. They had three children of whom the most famous was the eldest, the future Augustine. Indeed, Augustine ascribed his conversion to the example and devotion of his mother: ‘She never let me out of her prayers that you, O God, might say to the widow’s son “Young man, I say to you, rise!” ’ – which is why the gospel of the widow of Nain is traditionally read today as her memorial. Monica’s husband died when she was forty. Her desire had been to be buried alongside him, but this was not to be. She died in Italy, at Ostia, in 387 on her way home to North Africa with her two sons.
who strengthened Monica, the mother of Augustine, with wisdom,
and through her patient endurance encouraged him
to seek after you:
give us the will to persist in prayer
that those who stray from you may be brought to faith
in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.