Monica: 331 AD (Souk Ahras, Algeria) – 387 AD (Ostia, Italy)
Augustine: 354 AD (Souk Ahras, Algeria) – 430 AD (Annaba, Algeria)
Have you ever heard of Saints Monica and Augustine? Did you know that Saint Monica was Saint Augustine’s mum and that for a long time Saint Augustine didn’t live like a saint at all? When he was a kid, he even stole pears from a neighbor’s garden! And do you think that was because he was hungry and too poor to buy food? No! It was just out of mischief. Saint Augustine and his friends who stole the pears then went and threw them to some pigs. That’s not right, is it? Food needs to be treated with respect as there are people who have noting to eat and taking what belongs to someone else is not right either.
Not only was Saint Augustine naughty when he was growing up, but he was also very confused about God, which made his mum, Saint Monica, very sad. Saint Monica didn’t give up though and prayed for her son every day, asking Jesus to help him find the right way.
It took a very long time for Saint Augustine to realize who Jesus was, but once he did, he understood very important and beautiful things about the Tinity – our God in whom three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, love each other so much that they are one. Have you ever felt loved by someone so that what they did for you made you both very happy? That is exactly how the persons of the Trinity love each other.
And did you know how it happened that Saint Augustine came to changing his life and following Jesus to become a saint? One day he was sitting under a fig tree when he heard a voice say to him: “Take up and read!” Do you know what this meant? What was Saint Augustine asked to read? That’s right – the Bible! And Saint Augustine listened to that voice and learned a lot
from the Bible about which he then wrote many books that people still read and learn from today. Maybe when you grow up, you too will read a book by Saint Augustine. When Saint Augustine became a Christian – and did you know that it was Saint Ambrose who baptized him? – his mum, Saint Monica was very happy! The many years of praying for her son every day seemed like nothing compared to the Joy of seeing her boy getting close to Jesus. You too can follow Saint Monica’s example and pray for others who are in trouble. It may take a long time, but God listens to our prayers!
Soon Saint Augustine became a priest and then a bishop and because he loved Jesus so much and was very smart he left us, the Church, with lots of beautiful ideas about how to live like God’s people. We can thank him and his loving mum for their great help and try to follow their example ourselves.
“Love, and do what you want.”