Preparing for the Feast of St. Monica

Stmonica  St. Monica is commemorated on August 27. A holy woman who spent a great deal of her life on her knees in tears, she was the wife of a cruel, pagan husband and a wayward son. She prayed unceasingly for them. At the end of his life, her husband did convert to Christianity. Her son, after gallivanting about and leading a life of sin, was baptized in Christ and became the great St. Augustine.

In the past few days, I have heard from so many tearful mothers. They are sending sons and daughters out into the world. Some of them are letting go just a little bit--a bus ride to kindergarten, a bike ride alone, a week away at grandparents. Others are sending their children hundreds or thousands of miles away to live apart from them. These kids aren't, for the most part, wayward young Augustines. Yet, mothers everywhere understand the tearful imploring of St. Monica for God's protection and provision for her child. I've promised the mothers who have written that I will pray for them and for their children and I've asked them to pray for me and mine. 

Isn't it a beautiful thing that the Church draws our attention to St. Monica at this time of year? Just as I can pray for you and you can pray for me, St. Monica, eternal soul in heaven with the Father, can pray for us both. 

Exemplary Mother of the Great Augustine,

You perseveringly pursued your wayward son

Not with wild threats 

But with prayerful cries to heaven. 

Intercede for all mothers in our day 

So that they may learn 

To draw their children to God. 

Teach them how to remain

Close to their children, 

Even the prodigal sons and daughters 

Who have sadly gone astray. 

Dear St Monica, troubled wife and mother, 

Many sorrows pierced your heart

During your lifetime. 

Yet you never despaired or lost faith. 

With confidence, persistence and profound faith, 

You prayed daily for the conversion

Of your beloved husband, Patricius 

And your beloved son, Augustine. 

Grant me that same fortitude, 

Patience and trust in the Lord. 

Intercede for me, dear St. Monica, 

That God may favorably hear my plea 


(mention your petition here) 

And grant me the grace 

To accept his will in all things, 

Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, 

In the unity of the Holy Spirit, 

One God forever and ever. Amen.

Right now, I have no grand plans for this Feast. We'll pray the novena, light a candle. celebrate Mass, and have a nice tea time. St. Monica, pray for us!

This icon is by the hand of Nicholas Papas.