St. Monica. My hero. She was the first saint that I thought of to include in my icon for the strayed-away lambs of the church.
We don’t know too much about her, most of what we do know comes from the writings of her son, Augustine. From her name, it has been theorized that she was a Berber. She was born in 331 in what is now Algeria in North Africa. She was raised a Christian, but given into marriage to a pagan man. 3 of their children survived infancy, including their youngest son, Augustine. St. Monica died in 387, and was buried in Ostia, the harbor city of ancient Rome. Later, her remains were transferred to the Cathedral of S’ant Agostino in Rome.
St. Augustine wasn’t always an holy and eloquent defender and explainer of the faith. He was a rebellious and wayward young man, much given to partying and loose living.
St. Monica prayed and prayed for her family. Her husband and mother-in-law converted in 371. The 2 elder children were baptized as well, and both of them joined the religious life. Augustine took a bit more effort: about 30 years of persistent prayer. His mother followed him from Africa to Italy, always praying that he might turn to the Lord.
He was baptized in 387, and went on to be canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church.