St Monica: Model of Christian Mothers

F.A. Forbes
TAN Books
Number of pages: 
106 pages
Grade / Age level: 

This book tells of the life of St. Monica (332-387 A.D.), mother of St Augustine of Hippo. As a young girl in a Christian family, she heard the stories of the early martyrs and asked God to let her suffer for Him. Her prayer was granted in an unexpected way as she became the wife of a pagan and the mother of a son who, though brilliant and talented, soon fell into sinful ways and in time adopted the heretical beliefs of the Manichees. For many years, Monica prayed and wept for her son -- "It is not possible that the son of such tears should perish" a bishop told her - and she had the joy of seeing her husband, her haughty mother-in-law and finally her son baptized and fervent Christians before she died.

The author, F.A. Forbes, was a nun who converted to Catholicism at the age of 31 and joined a contemplative order. She wrote several other saints' books. This is a short book, and told simply enough so that an 11-year-old could read it, though I would think a slightly older child would get more out of the book. Patricius' infidelity and Augustine's sins of the flesh are referred to only in the most general terms. Included are several prayers to St. Monica, including a litany and a novena.

It could be read as part of a historical study of the early Church or as a devotional reading. It would also be a good book for mothers to turn to when they are weary of the inevitable frustrations of being a wife and mother - and daughter in law! St Monica's perseverance and continual turning to God for strength make her, indeed, the model of Christian mothers.

Suitable for ages 11 and up.

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