4 May – St Monica, intercessor for children who have fallen away from the Faith

In the older, traditional Roman calendar today is the feast of the mother of St. Augustine, St. Monnica, widow.  She died in Ostia (Rome’s port) in 387, when she and her family were heading back to North Africa after Augustine’s conversion and baptism by St. Ambrose.  She caught a fever during a blockade of the port.

(Yes, you can spell her name “Monnica”, more consistent with her Punic origins.)

In the chapel of The Cupboard Under The Stairs I have a first-class relic of this marvelous woman.


In the post-Conciliar calendar, her feast was moved to be next to that of her son.

As she lay dying in Ostia near Rome, Monnica told Augustine (conf. 9):

“Lay this body anywhere, let not the care for it trouble you at all. This only I ask, that you will remember me at the Lord’s altar, wherever you be.”

She was buried there in Ostia. Her body was later moved to the Church of St. Augustine in Rome across the street from where I lived for many years.

May she pray for us, for widows and for parents of children who have drifted from the Church.

Be sure to pray for the departed. Pray for them! Don’t just remember them. Don’t just think well of them. Don’t just, as the case may be, resent or be angry at them. Pray for them!

Read about St. Augustine

Prayer for the dead is a spiritual work of mercy.

Also, I’ll remind you of a newish book on Augustine:

REVIEW: The book on Augustine which Pope Benedict would have wanted to write.

Also, if you want a really interesting book on the Doctor of Grace, check out Serge Lancel‘s volume.  UK HERE

BTW… read about how here original epitaph inscription was found by some kids.  HERE

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. May Sts. Monica and Augustine also intercede for my father, who is in a medically-induced coma since last night following respiratory failure, cardiac arrest and possible brain damage.

  2. Joy65 says:

    For all fallen away Catholics and Christians especially those in our family.

    Our Father
    Hail Mary
    Glory Be

  3. Agathon says:

    Could someone enlighten me as to what that relic is? A fragment of bone? I’m assuming the abbreviation Vid. refers to its identity, but I don’t know what that means.

  4. “Vid.” is an abbreviation for “Viduae”—widow. That and Monicae are genitive “of St. Monica.” Usually there will also be a phrase like “ex ossibus” (from the bones), etc., but it’s lacking here.

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