On St Monica’s Memorial, let us pray for her intercession that the Lord may grant us patience, fortitude and trust – 27 August :
Prayer for the intercession of St Monica
Dear St. Monica,
troubled wife and mother,
many sorrows pierced your heart
during your lifetime.
Yet, you never despaired or lost faith.
With confidence, persistence
and profound faith,
you prayed daily for the conversion
of your husband
and your beloved son, Augustine;
your prayers were answered.
Grant me that same fortitude, patience,
and trust in the Lord.
Intercede for me, dear St. Monica,
that God may favorably hear my plea for
(Mention your intention here)
and grant me the grace
to accept His Will in all things,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Thought for the day – 27 August – The Memorial of St Monica
Today we celebrate the memorial of St Monica, the mother of St Augustine, whose memorial we will celebrate tomorrow.
We celebrate this memorial not simply because St Monica was the mother of a great saint.
The opening prayer for Mass goes like this and it is worthwhile to take note: ‘God of mercy, comfort of those in sorrow, the tears of St Monica moved you to convert her son, St Augustine to the faith of Christ.’
All in all, she prayed for something like 30 years before she finally had the joy of seeing St Augustine baptised.
St Monica enfleshed the words which we hear in the 1st reading: ‘May our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father, who has given us His love and through His grace, such inexhaustible comfort and such sure hope, comfort you and strengthen you.’
The consolation, experienced by St Monica and her total abandonment to God can also be ours today when we persevere in patience and in trust – this is Monica’s lesson – keep on praying good folk, for God hears you!
St Monica, pray for us!
“The day was now approaching when my mother Monica would depart from this life; You know that day, Lord, though we did not. She and I happened to be standing by ourselves at a window that overlooked the garden in the courtyard of the house. At the time we were in Ostia on the Tiber. And so the two of us, all alone, were enjoying a very pleasant conversation, “forgetting the past and pushing on to what is ahead..” We were asking one another in the presence of the Truth – for You are the Truth – what it would be like to share the eternal life enjoyed by the saints, which “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, which has not even entered into the heart of man.” We desired with all our hearts to drink from the streams of your heavenly fountain, the fountain of life. That was the substance of our talk, though not the exact words. But You know, O Lord, that in the course of our conversation that day, the world and its pleasures lost all their attraction for us. My mother said, “Son, as far as I am concerned, nothing in this life now gives me any pleasure. I do not know why I am still here, since I have no further hopes in this world. I did have one reason for wanting to live a little longer: to see you become a Catholic Christian before I died. God has lavished His gifts on me in that respect, for I know that you have even renounced earthly happiness to be his servant. So what am I doing here?” I do not really remember how I answered her. Shortly, within five days or thereabouts, she fell sick with a fever. Then one day during the course of her illness she became unconscious and for a while she was unaware of her surroundings. My brother and I rushed to her side but she regained consciousness quickly. She looked at us as we stood there and asked in a puzzled voice: “Where was I?” We were overwhelmed with grief, but she held her gave steadily upon us, and spoke further: “Here you shall bury your mother.” I remained silent as I held back my tears. However, my brother haltingly expressed his hope that she might not die in a strange country but in her own land, since her end would be happier there. When she heard this, her face was filled with anxiety and she reproached him with a glance because he had entertained such earthly thoughts. Then she looked at me and spoke: “Look what he is saying.” Thereupon she said to both of us, “Bury my body wherever you will; let not care of it cause you any concern. One thing only I ask you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be.” Once our mother had expressed this desire as best she could, she fell silent as the pain of her illness increased.”– from the Confessions of Saint Augustine
One Minute Reflection – 27 August – The Memorial of St Monica
My human life … is a life of faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me….Galatians 2:20
REFLECTION – “How many difficulties there are also today in family relationships
and how many mothers are anguished because their children choose mistaken ways!
Monica, a wise and solid woman in the faith, invites us not to be discouraged
but to persevere in our mission of wives and mothers,
maintaining firm our confidence in God and clinging with perseverance to prayer.”
… Pope Benedict XVI (27 August 2006)
PRAYER – God our Father, comforter of the sorrowful,
You accepted St Monica’s offering of tears for the
conversion of her son, Augustine.
Help us too, by their intercession to be truly contrite
for our sins and to live in a life of faith in Your Son,
who loved us and gave Himself for us. St Monica,
pray for us amen.
Our Morning Offering – 27 August – The Memorial of St Monica
LATE HAVE I LOVED YOU By St Augustine
Late have I loved You,
Beauty so ancient and so new,
late have I loved You!
Lo, you were within,
but I outside, seeking there for You,
and upon the shapely things You have made
I rushed headlong – I, misshapen.
You were with me but I was not with You.
They held me back far from You,
those things which would have no being,
were they not in You.
You called, shouted, broke through my deafness.
You flared, blazed, banished my blindness.
You lavished Your fragrance, I gasped
and now I pant for You;
I tasted You and now I hunger and thirst;
You touched me and I burned for Your peace.
Saint of the Day – 27 August – St Monica (322-387) – Mother of St Augustine (354-430) Great Father and Doctor of the Churcg,, Widow, Religious Lay Woman – born in 322 at Tagaste,Souk Ahrus), Roman North Africa (modern Algeria) and died in 387 at Ostia, Italy). Patronages – conversion of relatives, alcoholics, alcoholism, difficult marriages, disappointing children, homemakers, housewives, married women, wives, mothers, victims of adultery or unfaithfulness, victims of verbal abuse, widows, Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers, Bevilacqua, Italy, Mabini, Bohol, Philippines, various cities across the world. Attributes – cincture, girdle, tears, religious habit, in prayer.
Because of her name and place of birth, Monica is assumed to have been born in Thagaste (present-day Souk Ahras, Algeria). She is believed to have been a Berber on the basis of her name. She was married early in life to Patricius, a Roman pagan, who held an official position in Tagaste. Patricius had a violent temper and appears to have been of dissolute habits; apparently his mother was the same way. Monica’s alms, deeds and prayer habits annoyed Patricius but it is said that he always held her in respect.
Monica had three children who survived infancy: sons Augustine and Navigius and daughter Perpetua. Unable to secure baptism for them, she grieved heavily when Augustine fell ill. In her distress she asked Patricius to allow Augustine to be baptised; he agreed, then withdrew this consent when the boy recovered. But Monica’s joy and relief at Augustine’s recovery turned to anxiety as he misspent his renewed life being wayward and, as he himself tells us, lazy. He was finally sent to school at Madauros. He was 17 and studying rhetoric in Carthage when Patricius died.
Augustine had become a Manichaean at Carthage; when upon his return home he shared his views regarding Manichaeism, Monica drove him away from her table. However, she is said to have experienced a vision that convinced her to reconcile with him. At this time she visited a certain (unnamed) holy bishop who consoled her with the now famous words,“the child of those tears shall never perish.” Monica followed her wayward son to Rome, where he had gone secretly; when she arrived he had already gone to Milan but she followed him. Here she found Ambrose and through him she ultimately had the joy of seeing Augustine convert to Christianity after 17 years of resistance.
In his book Confessions, Augustine wrote of a peculiar practice of his mother in which she “brought to certain oratories, erected in the memory of the saints, offerings of porridge, bread, water and wine.” When she moved to Milan, the bishop Ambrose forbade her to use the offering of wine, since “it might be an occasion of gluttony for those who were already given to drink”. So, Augustine wrote of her:
“In place of a basket filled with fruits of the earth, she had learned to bring to the oratories of the martyrs a heart full of purer petitions and to give all that she could to the poor–so that the communion of the Lord’s body might be rightly celebrated in those places where, after the example of His passion, the martyrs had been sacrificed and crowned.” — Confessions 6.2.2
Mother and son spent 6 months of true peace at Rus Cassiciacum (present-day Cassago Brianza) after which Augustine was baptised in the church of St John the Baptist at Milan.
Africa claimed them, however, and Augustine and the members of his family now set out for their return to Tagaste. At the port of Ostia, Monica fell ill. She knew that her work had been accomplished and that life would soon be over. Her exaltation of spirit was such that her sons were unaware of the approach of death. As Monica’s strength failed, she said to Augustine: “I do not know what there is left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled. All I wished for was that I might see you a Catholic and a child of Heaven. God granted me even more than this in making you despise earthly felicity and consecrate yourself to His service.” Shortly afterwards they asked her if she did not fear to die so far from home, for she had earlier expressed a desire to be buried beside her husband in Tagaste. Now, with beautiful simplicity, she replied, “Nothing is far from God” and indicated that she was content to be buried where she died. Monica’s death plunged her children into the deepest grief and Augustine, “the son of so many tears,” in the Confessions implores his readers’ prayers for his parents. It is the prayers of Monica herself that have been invoked by generations of the faithful who honour her as a special patroness of married women and as an example for Christian motherhood. Her relics are alleged to have been transferred from Ostia to Rome, to rest in the church of San Agostino.
St Monica’s death and Augustine’s grief inspired the finest pages of his Confessions.
St Monica (Memorial) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPwl42gpAns
Transverberation of the Heart of Teresa of Avila
St Agilo of Sithin
Bl Angelus of Foligno
St Anthusa the Younger
St Arontius of Potenza
St Baculus of Sorrento
St Caesarius of Arles
St David Lewis
Bl Dominic Barberi
St Ebbo of Sens
St Etherius of Lyons
St Euthalia of Leontini
St Fortunatus of Potenza
Bl Gabriel Mary
St Gebhard of Constance
St Giovanni of Pavia
St Honoratus of Potenza
Bl Jean Baptiste Guillaume
Bl Jean-Baptiste Souzy
St John of Pavia
St Licerius of Couserans
St Malrubius of Merns
Bl Maria del Pilar Izquierdo Albero
St Narnus of Bergamo
Bl Roger Cadwallador
St Rufus of Capua
St Sabinian of Potenza
St Syagrius of Autun
Martyrs of Tomi – 5 saints: A group of 17 Christians imprisoned and excuted for their faith during the persecutions of Diocletian. They miraculously were unburned by fire and untouched by wild animals. We know the names and a few details on five of them – John, Mannea, Marcellinus, Peter and Serapion. They were tied to stakes and burned alive; they emerged unharmed – thrown to wild animals in the amphitheatre; the animals ignored them; they were beheaded in 304 in Tomi, Mesia (modern Costanza, Romania).
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Buenaventura Gabika-Etxebarria Gerrikabeitia
• Blessed Esteban Barrenechea Arriaga
• Blessed Fernando González Añon
• Blessed Francisco Euba Gorroño
• Blessed Hermenegildo Iza Aregita
• Blessed José María López Carrillo
• Blessed Juan Antonio Salútregui Iribarren
• Blessed Pedro Ibáñez Alonso
• Blessed Pelayo José Granado Prieto
• Blessed Plácido Camino Fernández
• Blessed Quirino Díez del Blanco
• Blessed Ramón Martí Soriano