St. Monica: two different views

Today marks the feast of the mother of St. Augustine. Below, two dramatically different depictions of this woman who died sometime late in the 4th century.

The first comes from John Nava, and is one of the studies he did for the gorgeous tapestries at the cathedral in Los Angeles. The artist for the second is unknown.

Since Monica came from northern Africa, some speculate that she and her son were dark-skinned.

Whatever her age, her looks, her race, or her nationality, she speaks to all mothers who spend long days and agonizing nights in tireless prayer for their children. Monica is the seeker of conversion, the mother of hope—a woman who stands before all of us as a model of persistence, and patience, and faith. Alongside Mary and Joseph, she is a great intercessor for parents.

Below, a novena prayer to St. Monica: 

Dear Saint Monica, once the sorrowing mother of a wayward son, be pleased to present our petition to the Lord God of heaven and earth. (Pause to mention intentions in silence.) Look down upon our anxieties and needs, and intercede for us, as you did so fervently for Augustine, your firstborn.

We have full confidence, that your prayers will gain favorable hearing in heaven. Mother of a sinner-turned saint; obtain for us patience, perseverance, and total trust in God’s perfect timing. In His appointed hour, in His merciful way, may He respond to your prayer and ours, which we offer through you. Amen.

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