Or, so I'm told. The theory is that any woman who has a little Bloke or Sheila to take care of and train up in the way he should go, has got a sure-fire one-way ticket into eternal bliss. Mothers are the ones who best follow the mandate of Christ to "give up one's life" for another. I mean, don't they? Moms rock. I love mine. St. Augustine loved his, too, and she's our saint for the day.
"I think it is only when we are in the next life that children will learn how much their parents prayed and sacrificed for them. One mother who prayed a great deal for one of her children is St Monica, the mother of St Augustine. She lived in Tagaste in North Africa which is called Algeria today. Monica and her husband Patricius had three children, Augustine, Navigius and Perpetua. Navigius was always a good son, and Perpetua became a nun and abbess. But Augustine was different. As a teenager he was influenced by the loose living of his companions. When he was studying in Carthage he decided to take a mistress. Augustine was, as we would say now, such a brat that he even once said to Monica his mother that there would be no problems between them if she gave up her faith! After that Monica was so desperate that she went to a bishop who advised her to be patient. He told her it would be impossible that a son over whom she had shed so many tears would perish and that he would soon return to the faith. From then on she stayed as close as possible to Augustine and she prayed and fasted for his conversion. When Augustine was 29 he moved to Rome to teach rhetoric and then he moved to Milan where he received a position teaching rhetoric. Monica moved to Milan after him. Augustine often heard Ambrose, the bishop of Milan, preaching and this is probably what sowed the seed of faith in his heart. All the prayers of his mother Monica for his conversion were now beginning to be heard after many years of seemingly being unheard. Augustine began to study the New Testament and especially Paul. He was close to being baptised but could not take a decisive step. His soul was crying out for conversion but his body said no! “Lord make me chaste but not yet” describes Augustine at this stage.
The turning point came when one day Augustine read a passage from Rom 13:13-14 “put on the Lord Jesus and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires.” Augustine described in his Confessions telling his mother that his struggle was over. She leaped for joy and understood that God had given Augustine more than she had begged. Augustine was baptised by Bishop Ambrose of Milan and he and Monica decided to return to North Africa. While waiting in Ostia, the port of Rome, to catch a boat back home, Monica said to Augustine, “I have no further delight in anything in this life…There was one thing for which I desired to linger a little while in this life, that I should see you a Catholic Christian before I died…Why am I still here?” Five days later Monica caught a fever and went into a coma and died after nine days. Augustine devotes many passages of his Confessions to his mother and all he owed her. Augustine went on to become a priest at the age of 36 and a bishop at the age of 41 and was Bishop of Hippo in North Africa for 35 years. One example of the influence Augustine has on the Church is that in the Catechism of the Catholic Church there are more quotations from Augustine than from any other writer. And all of this due to the persistent prayer of his mother St Monica."
~From a Homily for the Twentieth Sunday Year A by Fr Tommy Lane, Ireland