Born in North Africa into a Christian family, Monica is married at a very young age to a pagan notable from Thagaste, Patricius. She becomes the model wife of an unfaithful and violent husband... Her gentleness and her silence under the reproaches will finish by converting him. She had three children with him, including the future Saint Augustine. Widow in 371, she devotes herself to this son who seems "badly turned" who adheres to the Manichean sect, so opposed to the Christian faith. To free himself from his mother's reproaches, Augustine fled to Italy. But Monica joined him in Milan where she studied under the bishop Saint Ambrose. It was then that she had the immense joy of witnessing the conversion and baptism of her son. From then on, she was a helper and even a disciple when her son's intellectual and spiritual growth was confirmed. One evening, in Ostia, they had the joy of sharing an intense spiritual experience that Augustine would only hint at in his "Confessions". She died a few days later, a mother filled with this son who had made her cry so much.
Photo: Ary Scheffer, San Agustín y Santa Mónica, 1846, National Gallery, London.
Source: La Croix