What Is the History of Saint Monica?

What Is the History of Saint Monica?

Saint Monica was born in 331 A.D. in present-day Algeria and is known for helping return her then-wayward son, Augustine, to a life of Christianity before her death 387 A.D. Augustine would later become St. Augustine, one of the most influential philosophers and theologians in early Christianity.

Saint Monica suffered religious persecution from her husband, Patricius, who verbally abused her and was unfaithful in their marriage. While married, Monica also suffered the insults of her mother-in-law, who shared her son's disregard for religion. She gave birth to three children, the eldest of which was Augustine. She eventually helped convert both her husband and mother-in-law to the faith.

As a teenager, Augustine began to practice a Manichean belief, which was heretical to Monica's faith. For a short while, Monica refused to commune with Augustine, but changed her mind after a spiritual vision convinced her to reconcile with him.

She pursued Augustine in his travels, praying for and supporting him. After 17 years Augustine returned to Christianity and detailed his mother's influence on him in his most famous work "Confessions."

Saint Monica died in Ostia. A feast is held in her honor on Aug. 27. She is the patron saint of difficult marriages, disappointing children, victims of adultery, victims of verbal abuse and the conversion of relatives.