Saint Monica, also known as Monica of Hippo, is St. Augustine of
Hippo’s mother. She was born in 331 A.D. in Tagaste, which is present-day Algeria.
When she was very young, she was married off to the Roman pagan
Patricius, who shared his mother’s violent temper. Patricius’ mother
lived with the couple and the duo’s temper flares proved to be a
constant challenge to young Monica.
While Monica’s prayers and Christian deeds bothered Patricius, he is said to have respected her beliefs.
Three children were born to Monica and Patricius: Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Unfortunately, Monica was unable to baptize her children and when Augustine fell ill, Monica pleaded with Patricius to allow their son to be baptized.
Patricius allowed it, but when Augustine was healthy again, he withdrew his permission.
For years Monica prayed for her husband and mother-in-law, until finally, one year before Patricius’ death, she successfully converted them.
As time passed, Perpetua and Navigius entered the religious life, but unfortunately Augustine became lazy and uncouth. This greatly worried Monica, so when Patricius died, she sent the 17-year-old Augustine to Carthage for schooling.