27 August 2010

Commemoration of St. Monica, Mother of St. Augustine

Yes, my dear friend and crusty old curmudgeon Dr.Terry Maher will give the whole story of how this is NOT the day to commemorate St. Monica historically.  Nevertheless, in the current service books of the Lutheran, Anglican and Roman communions, well, today is the day. It was moved in the 20th century to place her observance next door to that of her son, which follows tomorrow. So with that caveat, from our Synod's website and the Treasury:

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.

And so we pray: O Lord, You strengthened Your patient servant Monica through spiritual discipline to persevere in offering her love, her prayers, and her tears for the conversion of her husband and of Augustine, their son. Deepen our devotion to bring others, even our own family, to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, who with You and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever. (Treasury, p. 663).


Paul McCain said...

Thanks, Pr. WW. It is a beautiful day to remember a remarkable woman whom God used through her patient prayers.

I have an image of her created showing her as a young woman, your readers might be interested:


William Weedon said...

Oh, I think you put that one up last year too. I like it very much.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but aren't we just a absorbed with the minor saints this year? Is it the "new hymnal" or what?

It's Trinity and I've almost forgotten what the green paraments looked like. :(

William Weedon said...

Commemorations in the new hymnal are not intended to replace the Sunday liturgy. They are saints who are remembered in addition to it.

But we did have this summer three festivals (different from commemorations) fall upon Sundays: St. James (July 25); St. Mary (August 15); Martyrdom of St. John (August 29). Just the way the dates work out.

But green has hung upon the altar 10 out of the last 13 weeks. There are, however, no more saints days upon Sundays through the end of the year (though in my parish, we always transfer St. Michael's and All Angels to a Sunday). So green will be very much before your eyes! :)

Paul said...

To be absorbed in His saints is to be absorbed in Christ who made them and us His own. I believe in the communion of saints. Do you?