August 27 – St. Monica

Today I would like to tell you a true story, the story of a Catholic woman in a very difficult marriage to a non-Christian husband. Her husband was a man with a hot temper and hostility towards Christianity. He was unfaithful in their marriage, but she remained faithful to him—not out of weakness, but out of an inner-strength.

She bore his faults with patience and persistently sought after his conversion. The daily example of her gentleness and kindness finally had its victory. Her husband became a Christian one year before his death. However, the year after that, she had to face a new burden alone.

The oldest of her three children joined an anti-Catholic religious cult. It started him down a path of sinful pride and many sensual sins. It broke her heart. Then one night, she had a dream.

She was standing on top of a wooden ruler, and she saw a young man coming towards her, surrounded by a glorious halo. Although she felt sad and full of grief, the young man smiled at her joyfully. He asked her for the reason for her sadness and daily tears. (This wasn’t because he didn’t know, but because he had something to tell her—this is the way things happen in visions.) When she answered that her tears were for the lost soul of her son he told her to take heart for, if she looked carefully, she would see that where she was, there also was he. And when she looked, she saw her son standing beside her on the same ruler. Reassured by this dream she continued, for years to come, praying tearful prayers for his conversion.

She even asked the bishop to intervene in winning over her son. He counseled her to be patient, saying, “God’s time will come.” When she persisted in asking, the bishop (perhaps busy with many other things) famously reassured her: “Go now, I beg you; it is impossible that the son of so many tears should perish.”

That son, as you may have guessed by now, was the great St. Augustine. And his mother is St. Monica. May her story encourage us to pray and strive for the conversion of our loved ones to the Catholic faith. Remember and take hope: God loves us with a human heart and He cares about your loved ones even more than you do.

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