It was in Tagaste, northern Africa, that this famous mother of St. Augustine was born in 332. She was brought up as a good Christian. Her strong training was a great help to her when she married the pagan Patricius. Patricius admired his wife, but he made her suffer because of his bad temper. Still Monica never answered back and never complained about him to anyone. Instead she prayed for him fervently. Patricius admitted his belief in Christianity in 371. He was baptized on his deathbed in 372. His mother, too, became a Christian.
St. Monica's joy over the holy way in which her husband had died soon changed to great sorrow. She found out that her son Augustine was living a bad, selfish life. This brilliant young man of nineteen had turned to a false religion and to immoral habits. Monica prayed and cried and did much penance for her son. She begged priests to talk to him. Augustine was brilliant, yet very stubborn. He did not want to give up his sinful life. But Monica would not give up either. When he went to Rome without her, she followed him. At Rome, she found he had become a teacher in Milan. So Monica went to Milan. And in all those years, she never stopped praying for him. What love and faith! After years of prayers and tears, her reward came when Augustine was converted. He not only became a good Christian, as she had prayed. Augustine also became a priest, a bishop, a great writer and a very famous saint.
St. Monica died in Ostia, outside Rome, in 387. Augustine was at her bedside.
Like St. Monica, we must keep praying. We can always remember the words of Jesus in the Gospel: "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened." (Mt. 6:7)