In Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad), he enjoins us to embark on our Christian journey of holiness by embracing the ordinariness of everyday. Throughout his exhortation, Pope Francis calls out more than 40 saints who can assist us on our mission of Christian faith, and to teach us how to rejoice and be glad in all of life’s challenges, mysteries, and joys.

During the 34 weeks of Ordinary Time, we will introduce you to some of the saints mentioned in Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation. #OrdinarySaints for #OrdinaryTime #HolyOrdinary

St. Monica – #142  Feast day August 27

#142 Sharing the word and celebrating the Eucharist together fosters fraternity and makes us a holy and missionary community. It also gives rise to authentic and shared mystical experiences. Such was the case with Saints Benedict and Scholastica. We can also think of the sublime spiritual experiences shared by Saint Augustine and his mother, Saint Monica. “As they day now approached on which she was to depart this life, a day known to you but to us, it  came about, as I believe by your secret arrangement, that she and I stood alone leaning in a window that looked onto a garden… We opened wide our hearts to drink in the streams of your fountain, the source of life that is in you… And as we spoke of that wisdom and strained after it, we touched it in some measure by the impetus of our hearts… eternal life might be like that one moment of knowledge which we now sighed after.”

St. Monica is perhaps best known as St. Augustine’s mother. She was born in present-day Algeria in 331. At a young age, Monica was married off to an abusive man with an abusive mother. She suffered greatly at their hands, but was permitted to practice her Christian faith. After years of prayer and trial, Monica was able to convert Patricius and his mother.

Monica’s youngest children Perpetua and Navigius entered religious life, while Augustine lived wildly, indulging in vice after vice. She sent Augustine to Carthage for education where he turned further from the church.

Monica never ceased praying for her son, even following him to Milan. She met St. Ambrose who was instrumental in helping her convert Augustine back to the church. It took 17-years, but Monica’s motherly persistence and prayers led Augustine back to the church and gave us one of the greatest saints in church history.

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