On Friday this week, August 27th, we celebrate the feast of St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine. She was a Christian and prayed for years and years that her husband, Patricius, and her son, Augustine, would accept the truths of Christianity and live as disciples of Jesus Christ. Both her husband and her son did (in the Lord’s perfect timing)! Augustine went on to become the Bishop of the Diocese of Hippo in North Africa and one of the greatest thinkers and theologians in the Church – one of the great Fathers of the Church. He himself is a canonized saint (his feast day is the next day – August 28th).
We have been praying a Novena to St. Monica asking her prayers for conversions to take place in the hearts of people and lead them to the Church. At the same time, I sent letters to all non-Catholic spouses of our parishioners inviting them to an evening of inquiry at the beginning of our RCIA season (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). Through the prayers of St. Monica, I pray that there is a great response!
Do you have children who have stopped practicing their faith and no longer come to mass or follow Jesus Christ? Ask St. Monica to pray for them. Are you in a difficult marriage or have a friend or family member who might be in a difficult marriage? Ask St. Monica for assistance. Are you struggling because of wayward child? St. Monica can help. Are you or someone you know and love victims of adultery or unfaithfulness or verbal abuse? Ask for St. Monica’s intercession.
If you are in Rome, she is buried at the Church of St. Augustine which is close to Piazza Navona. It is a beautiful church! Stop by and visit if you have the chance.
Why do we ask the Saints to pray for us? They are members of our family who are in heaven – the Church Triumphant! They are alive in Christ! Just as we ask each other for prayers, we can ask them to pray for us. We ask those that we know have a good relationship with Jesus and a strong prayer life to intercede for us with Him. We can include all the saints in that practice of devotion. It doesn’t take anything away from God. Jesus is not offended. Rather, where two or three are gathered in His name, He is present. If two or three of His disciples are praying for a particular thing, He hears that prayer (maybe not like we think it should be answered, but He answers it).
My brothers and sisters, take full advantage of our unity in the Body of Christ with those who have gone before us in the faith! Involve them in your life and ask them to intercede for you.
Have a wonderful week and may the Lord bless you and your families abundantly!
~ Fr. Daniel Firmin