Are You Augustine, Monica, Both or Neither?

St. Augustine and his mother, St. Monica

I’m at work on an interesting project — a foreword for a devotional book relating to the lives of St. Monica and St. Augustine. While I can’t say too much about the book at this point, suffice it to say that I’ve been thinking quite a lot about this saintly mother/son combo the past few days as I’ve poured over the manuscript.

As a mother, and especially a mother of sons, I can’t help but feel a special kinship with St. Monica. As my own boys mature and become more independent, she’s a regular “go to” intercessor for me. And a recent viewing of the wonderful film Restless Heart has reshaped a few of my previously held perceptions about this patroness of housewives and disappointing children. I now see in her a strength of spirit that supersedes my previously held sense of her as a spiritual (I hate to say it) nag.

I’ll also admit that I’ve never really been able to relate to St. Augustine as well as I have in the past few years as I’ve watch my babies grow into independent men with minds of their own. It’s been a goal of mine to respect their privacy as much as possible in my writing efforts over the past few years, so I won’t dwell on this more than to say I can now see things a bit more clearly from his vantage point too.

So if someone asked me, “Are you Augustine, Monica, both or neither?” I’d quickly respond with a fervant, “Monica!” I’ve always been goodie-two-shoes, so St. Augustine’s circuitous path to salvation is really not one to which I can relate. But some of my closest friends and some folks I greatly admire would definitely fall more into the Augustine camp than Monica’s. And some of you out there are probably equal parts of both saints — you have a path through life that’s led you to a kinship with both of their spirits. And likely too, we’ve got some folks who’d answer my question with a resounding, “Neither!”, and that’s fair too.

So now, I put the question to you. “Are you Augustine, Monica, both or neither?” Why?

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About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa Hendey is the founder and webmaster of and the author of The Grace of YesA Book of Saints for Catholic Moms and The Handbook for Catholic Moms. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and is a frequent television and radio guest and host. Visit her at and connect with her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.