The Story of Monica

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Church History

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up... (Luke 18:1)

Monica was not a woman who had an easy life. Her husband had both a temper and mistresses, and one of her children was a young tearaway. As a Christian wife and mother her heart broke over both, and she longed that they would know God. And so she prayed…

In time her husband converted to Christianity, but he died when Monica was about forty and two years later her eldest son went away to study in a nearby city. When he returned he announced that he had become involved in a mystic religion which taught a cosmic struggle between good and evil. Monica drove her son from the table, but later had a vision which convinced her to persist with him. She arranged for local priests to visit he son, and to reason with him, but he remained unmoved. And so she prayed...

Around this time Monica visited a bishop, and poured our her heart. Moved, he counselled her: “the child of those tears shall never perish”. Years passed, and in time the son slipped away to Rome, with his mother following him. By the time she’d arrived, he’d gone on to Milan. And so she followed. And so she prayed...

In Milan the son met a Bishop who had a profound influence upon him, and after resisting the faith for seventeen years St Augustine converted to Christianity. Mother and son spent a happy six month together, before setting off to Africa (they were from North Africa). On that journey Monica died, in 387AD. Shortly before, she had said to her beloved son:

“Son, for myself, I find no pleasure, now, in anything in this life. What I am doing here, now, and why I am here, I do not know; my hope for this world is already fulfilled. There was but one thing for which I yearned to remain a little longer in this life. That was to see you a Catholic Christian before I died. My God has more abundantly satisfied my desire, inasmuch as I see you now, having spurned earthly felicity, become His servant. What am I doing here?”

O Christian! Never give up praying for those whom you long to know God.

Nympha’s House

Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. (Colossians 4:15) - We might focus on vicars as the ones leading the church, but it is the faithfulness of the congregations which keep the show on the road.


And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfil the ministry that you have received in the Lord”. (Colossians 4:17) - At its heart the Christian faith is a relating to God, and like all relationships that takes time and attention. If you ignore a friend for long enough, you lose a friend.

  1. Blog
  2. The Rectory Bulletin
  3. 2020
  4. August
  5. The Story of Monica