Above is a picture of the tomb of St. Monica located in the Church of St. Augustine in Rome. As we all know, St. Monica endured many years of pain and heartache as her son, Augustine, lived a very pagan and, by most accounts, rather dissolute lifestyle, even siring an illegitimate son he named Adeodatus (meaning "given by God"). We are told that St. Monica prayed ceaselessly for almost 30 years for the conversion of her son. We know well how St. Monica was rewarded by God! Augustine didn't just convert to the Catholic faith but became one of her greatest disciples, theologians, scholars, bishops, doctors of the Church, saints. What a grand witness to faithfulness is St. Monica, especially when all seems hopeless.
While I hope I did not cause my mother quite the same pain and heartache as St. Augustine caused his mother, I knelt at St. Monica's tomb and prayed that Mom, like St. Monica, would be rewarded one day for her maternal love and care. As Mom always reminds me, "No matter how old you are, I am still your mother!" Somehow I have to imagine St. Augustine may have heard the same thing from time to time! May God reward each of our mothers for giving us life and nurturing that earthly life unto life everlasting! Thanks, Mom!