+ St. Monica was born in Tagaste (modern Algeria, Northern Africa) in 322. She was given in marriage to a bad-tempered, adulterous pagan named Patricius. She is the mother of three sons one of whom is St. Augustine of Hippo, whose writings about her are the primary source of our information about her. She prayed constantly for the conversion of her husband (who converted on his death bed), and of her son (who converted after a wild life). Augustine (whose feast day we will celebrate tomorrow) was the spiritual student of St. Ambrose of Milan. After Augustine’s baptism in Milan, he and his mother set out for Ostia, but she died on the way in 387. She was fifty-five. Monica is reported to have said to her son before her final illness that she had fulfilled her life’s purpose in seeing him converted and baptized.
Our readings today are particularly suited for St. Monica. The first reading speaks the beauty of a virtuous wife as the radiance of her home: like the sun rising in the Lord’s heavens. The gospel passage spoke to Monica about the moral resurrection of her own son, Augustine, when Jesus raises the deceased only son of a widow in Nain. The widow, like Monica, asked the Lord in faith to have mercy on her son; Jesus does not refuse a mother’s prayer for her children.
In you, Lord, I have found my peace!