St. Monica:
Patient in Prayer but Quick on Her Feet

Saint Monica is known the world over for her patience and persistence in prayer for the conversion of her son, Augustine. That—along with the graceful way she endured the abuse of her pagan husband—is why she’s the patron saint of patience.

But Monica was also quick to speak her mind and to take action.

Once, Monica had a vision, causing her to confront Augustine. A figure told her, “Your son is with you.” Monica told Augustine about the vision, and his response was that they could easily be together, just as soon as she gave up her faith. Her quick-witted response? “He did not say I was with you: he said that you were with me.”

Augustine never forgot those words, though he still wasn't baptized for another nine years following the conversation.

Even Monica’s local Bishop, who counseled her to patiently continue her fasting, praying and weeping, finally relented, saying, “Go now, I beg you; it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.”

Because of the patience of St. Monica, we have been blessed with one of the greatest bishops and theologians of the Church, St. Augustine.

So she followed her son across the Mediterranean and back, and everyone knows the ending to the story—Augustine was baptized, ordained and canonized, and remains one of the great theologians in all of Church history.

As Monica reached the end of her life, 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.”

Monica had her priorities in order. Of course, she prayed without ceasing. But she knew when to take action. Make prayer a priority, but like Monica, never be afraid to take action when helping young men hear God’s call.

Excerpts from Saint Monica’s life taken from "Lives of Saints", Published by John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.

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Operation Andrew Dinner

  • When: Nov. 30th
  • Where: St. John Bosco Parish Center, Malone
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If you know a young man who is interested in the priesthood, please encourage him to contact us. Likewise, if you are aware of a young woman or man who is discerning religious life, please send them our way. We'll help connect them with respective religious communities. And of course, let us keep praying for each other and for all holy vocations in the Church.

The Vocation Team
Cathy Russell
Vocations Coordinator
Fr. Douglas Lucia
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