Today is the feast day of St Monica, the mother of St Augustine. She is the patron saint of mothers because of her persistent prayer for her husband and son to find the faith of Christ and turn away from their secular lifestyle. Through her perseverance, her prayers were answered.
I recently finished St Augustine's "Confessions" and was taken by his mothers persistent care for her son. In his early life, he could be quit cruel to her, yet she persevered in her prayers and never let go of her love for her son or for her desire for him to find Christ. One of the most touching parts of St Augustine's Confessions was his reflection upon his mothers death where he said:
"And then, little by little, there came back to me my former memories of thy handmaid: her devout life toward thee, her holy tenderness and attentiveness toward us, which had suddenly been taken away from me--and it was a solace for me to weep in thy sight, for her and for myself, about her and about myself. Thus I set free the tears which before I repressed, that they might flow at will, spreading them out as a pillow beneath my heart. And it rested on them, for thy ears were near me--not those of a man, who would have made a scornful comment about my weeping. But now in writing I confess it to thee, O Lord! Read it who will, and comment how he will, and if he finds me to have sinned in weeping for my mother for part of an hour--that mother who was for a while dead to my eyes, who had for many years wept for me that I might live in thy eyes--let him not laugh at me; but if he be a man of generous love, let him weep for my sins against thee, the Father of all the brethren of thy Christ. "
Parents' Prayer to Saint Monica
Saint Monica, patron of Christian parents, we entrust to your protection, the children whose names you can read in our hearts. Pray for them, that they may be granted strength to combat weakness, victory over temptation, guidance to resolve their doubts, and success in all their undertakings.
May they enjoy good health of mind and body, see beauty and worth in all created things, and serve the Lord with firm faith, joyful hope and enduring love.
St Monica, pray for us and our children.