27 August 2008

Monica, Mother of Augustine

Today our Synod remembers the marvelous Saint Monica, the women who took our Lord's promises about prayer with utmost seriousness and kept asking, seeking, knocking, and she obtained her petitions! From our Synod's website:

Monica, Faithful Mother
A native of North Africa, Monica (A.D. 333–387) was the devoted mother of Saint Augustine. Throughout her life she sought the spiritual welfare of her children, especially that of her brilliant son, Augustine. Widowed at a young age, she devoted herself to her family, praying many years for Augustine's conversion. When Augustine left North Africa to go to Italy, she followed him to Rome and then to Milan. There she had the joy of witnessing her son's conversion to the Christian faith. Weakened by her travels, Monica died at Ostia, Italy on the journey she had hoped would take her back to her native Africa. On some church year calendars, Monica is remembered on May 4.


Scott Larkins said...

No one man has shaped the Western Church more than this great Saint. Thanks be to God's grace at work in this remarkable Christian woman.

Paul McCain said...

I found this striking new painting of St. Monica, and was reminded of how she suffered as a young woman, married to a non-Christian and what a blessing she was to all of us in that God used her mightily in the life of her son, our dearly beloved Saint Augustine.


Omar said...

What accounts for the difference in the date of commemoration in church calenders?


William Weedon said...

Striking picture, Pr. McCain.

Omar, it was moved as a result of the calendar reform during Vatican II to put it next to St. Augustine's day.

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

She truly was great. We were going to name our son Monica after her if he had been born a girl, her story really is an inspiration.

God knew what he was doing and gave us a boy though. Chris was born two months before the Lewinsky scandal broke, and in the world, the name Monica has been associated with her ever since.

Scott Larkins said...

Thanks for the pic Pr.McCain. Just another reminder of the witness of the North African Christians overrun by the Islamic Horde.

Past Elder said...

The Feast of St Monica is 4 May.

It was not part of the Roman Calendar for centuries, until C16 to be exact. It was observed by the Augustinian Order (which like my guys, the Benedictines, is a rather motley assortment) on 4 May because it was the day before the observance on 5 May of the Feast of the Conversion of St Augustine in that order.

The Conversion feast never did make it into the overall Roman Calendar, and when St Monica's did, the tradtitional date was retained.

Until the Revolution.

Traditionally, saints' feast days are the dates of their deaths, considered the birth into eternity. The date of St Monica's death is not known; St Augustine's is 28 August 430, hence his feast day. St Monica's greatness was not in giving physical birth to St Augustine, but in her role in his spiritual birth in this life. Therefore she is better honoured by leaving her day where it is for the reason it is there, or better yet finally inserting the Conversion into the Calendar, rather than moving it from a day which does have inherent reference to her to the day before her son's feast, which does not.

Once again, the calendar, lectionary and ordo of Vatican II misses the mark, even its own, utterly irrelevant to Christ's Church and should be therefore utterly irrelevant to Lutherans.