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For moms everywhere, on the Feast of St. Monica

Just about one year ago, when I spent 11 days in Rome, I had the chance to visit the Church of St. Augustine (seen here) multiple times since it was just around the corner from Santa Croce University, where I was attending a seminar for journalists.

In this beautiful church, complete with an altar and angels by Bernini and paintings by Raphael and Caravaggio, is the tomb of St. Augustine’s mother, Monica, whose feast we celebrate today.

I knelt before her tomb, so grateful just to be in Rome, and whispered prayers for all the moms who had asked me to remember their intentions while I was in the Eternal City. And I prayed for mothers everywhere, because no matter what our background, no matter how much we do, we often think its not enough, that we are not enough.

So today, as then, I am remembering all the moms I know and those I don’t, praying we find the patience and strength we need to live out our vocations fully and joyfully and that we also have eyes to see not only where we think we fall short but where we are doing our best — teaching our children, serving our families, trusting in God — day after day, year after year.

I remembered all of you this morning as I said Morning Prayer, and I will remember you again in just a little while when I go to Mass. Please remember me in your prayers as well. And let us turn to St. Monica for comfort when we do come up against those hard times and wonder how we will get through. She was living proof that the power of persistent prayer can change lives — our own and those of our children.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. This is a lovely post- and thank you! For the thought, for the prayers and for parsing it out so well. Your fellow moms are doubly blessed by this AND the petitions you presented. I will certainly whisper your name when I go tomorrow evening:)

    August 27, 2011
  2. Thank you for reminding us to keep in mind an important aspect of our lives as mothers–to remember where we do our best. Too many dedicated, loving moms–myself included–concentrate on where we fall short much more than where we stand tall in our children’s lives. Children do as we do, not as we say, and we definitely want our children to grow up knowing which areas of their lives can use improvement, and in which areas they should allow themselves to celebrate a (balanced) sense of accomplishment.

    Blessings to mothers everywhere, and happy Feast of St. Monica!

    August 27, 2011
  3. Michele B. #

    Thanks, Mary. I needed this post today especially. God Bless You.

    August 28, 2011
  4. Arden #

    Unfortunately, the tomb at Santa Maria della Vittoria is not St. Monica. Her remains are in the Basilca of Sant’ Agostino as mentioned in this news clipping. I believe the remains in the Santa Maria della Vittoria tomb are those of St. Teresa of Avila.

    [On Wednesday, the day the Church remembers Saint Augustine, Pope Francis will make a private visit to the Basilica of Sant’Agostino, in Rome, and preside over Holy Mass.

    The church houses the mortal remains of Saint Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine, whose feast day is today (August 27). Her remains were brought to the church, which is also home to paintings by Raphael and Caravaggio, in the 13th century.

    Augustine refers to his mother throughout his ‘Confessions’, attributing to her his rescue from an heretical life. Today she is often referred to as the patron saint of ‘mothers of awkward sons’.

    According to the Prior General of the Augustinians Father Robert Prevost, Pope Francis has had a special devotion to Saint Monica for a number of years.

    “Many people have a devotion to Saint Monica, including Pope Francis who used to frequent that Church as Cardinal Bergoglio when he would come to Rome,” ]

    This should not dampen your prayerfulness. Your intentions are still beautiful.

    November 5, 2013
  5. Mary DeTurris Poust #

    Um, yes, I was in the Church of St. Augustine, which I refer to in this post, and in front of the tomb of St. Monica. I was there multiple times, in fact.
    But thanks. Not sure where the confusion occurred.

    November 5, 2013

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