St. Augustine and St. Monica lived in Thagaste, which is in modern day Algeria. St. Monica was a devout Catholic, while her son surrounded himself in sin. The loving mother had hope, however, and prayed for her son. She prayed and was patient. She knew when to admonish and when to be silent. God would not let the tears of a mother go unanswered.
In the year 370 AD, St. Augustine began studying rhetoric in Carthage. He came across works by Cicero and and fell in love with wisdom. Augustine sought wisdom in religion, even in the Catholicism of his mother. But, reading the Old Testament, it disappointed him. Catholicism did not suit his ideas. Having found for himself a mistress, St. Augustine felt the duality of his life of sin and his search for truth, which turned him to Manichaeism. The duality St. Augustine felt was strengthened in his struggle between the two women who were most important to him, his mother and his mistress. God would not let the tears of a mother go unanswered. Eventually, St. Augustine was converted. He dismissed his mistress and was baptized April 387 at the Easter Vigil.
Today we celebrate the feast of St. Monica, patroness of patience, mothers, abuse victims, and alcoholics. Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of St. Augustine, patron of brewers, printers, and theologians.
Resource: our Virtual Pilgrimage on Sts. Augustine and Monica (watch on YouTube here)
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