Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 4 May

detail of the painting 'Saint Monica', by Luis Tristán de Escamilla, 1616, oil on canvas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, SpainSaint Monica, Widow

Saint Monica sets before us a beautiful example of the good which can be done in the world and in domestic life by a Christian wife and mother. And this not by undertaking anything extraordinary, but by loving care in the fulfillment of daily duties and gentle patience under the most severe trials. Saint Augustine himself tells us this: “My mother was the handmaid of the servants of God; all those who came in contact with her had occasion to praise, honor and love God, Who dwelt in her heart, as might well be seen by her conversation and her good works. Her charity reunited in the bonds of affection those who were separated by hatred. By her affection and gentleness she bore up against the passionate outbreaks of her husband and her mother-in-law and ended by gaining both for God. But the great work of her life, the triumph of her confidence in God, was that she obtained from Him, by her earnest prayers and tears, the conversion of her son Augustine. Having gained this end, she cared for naught else but Heaven. She fell ill at Ostia and said to those who attended her: “Bury your mother here, only I beg of you to remember me at the altar.” Many Congregations of Christian Mothers have been founded and flourish under her patronage.

Prayer

Saint Monica, obtain for mothers who are sad and discouraged confidence in God; for those who do not know how to deal with differences of character the gift of counsel and piety.

Practice

Deny yourself some pleasure as an offering for the conversion of the young who have gone astray.