Feast Day - May 4
Monica, the devout mother of St. Augustine and a shining example to wives and mothers, followed her son to Milan when he had become a Manichaean and, by her constant prayers, tears and fasting, gained him for Christ with the help of Ambrose the bishop. When she was returning with him to Africa, she fell ill of fever at Ostia on the Tiber and, after nine days, died peacefully. After telling about her death, her sorrowing son adds: We did not think it fitting to perform her obsequies with laments and groans, for she was not unhappy in her death, nor wholly dead: of this we were assured by the witness of her life and her genuine faith. But as little by little I was brought to think back on her who was Your servant, on her devout life and holy prayer to You, as well as on her tenderness and care for us, which I had thus suddenly been deprived of, I wept abundantly, both for my loss of her and for herself.
And if anyone thinks it was wrong for me thus to weep for my mother now dead before my eyes my mother who had wept for so many years for me, that I might live in her sight let him not scorn me. But rather, if he be of such great charity, let him weep for my sins before you, who are the Father of all the brothers of Your Christ.
St. Monicas body was first buried in the Church of St. Aurea, and later, under Pope Martin V, transferred to Rome and buried, with honor, in the Church of St. Augustine.
Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. II: Passion Sunday to August (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1780-1781.
Epistle and Gospel for May 4