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The Holy Family in Prayer

Persevering prayer

In the fourth century, there lived in Africa a Christian woman called Monica, who, loving God with all her heart, was sorry to see her son, Augustine, lead a life of dissipation and disorder. She never ceased to weep over her unfortunate child, and her grief was no less keen than that of mothers who see their only son laid to rest. In the eyes of her faith, her son, who lived in the usual state of sin, seemed to her to be dead.

One day Monica went to the pious bishop of Milan, St. Ambrose, and told him of her sadness, and begged him to see her son to try to bring him back to better feelings. “Go, replied the bishop, and continue to do what you are doing. For it is impossible that a son, wept over with so many tears, should ever perish.” This word restored confidence to the poor mother, who welcomed it as if it had come from the mouth of God Himself.

She continued for a long time to shed tears with prayers before the holy altar. She went to church twice a day, attended Holy Mass every morning, and gave abundant alms to the poor.

At last, God was moved by the pleas of His pious servant, who asked Him for neither gold nor silver, but for the healing of the soul and the eternal salvation of her son. Augustine was converted, deplored the errors of his youth, became a priest and a bishop, and was one of the most illustrious Doctors of the Church, and is honored today as a saint or great friend of God. He is Saint Augustine, bishop of Hippo.

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