Vatican City, Aug 28, 2020 / 03:00 am
Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the Basilica of St. Augustine Thursday to pray at the tomb of St. Monica.
During his visit to the basilica in Rome's Campo Marzio neighborhood near Piazza Navona, the pope prayed in the side chapel containing the tomb of St. Monica on her feast day Aug. 27.
St. Monica is honored in the Church for her holy example and dedicated prayerful intercession for her son, St. Augustine, before his conversion. Today Catholics turn to St. Monica as an intercessor for family members who are distant from the Church. She is the patron saint of mothers, wives, widows, difficult marriages, and victims of abuse.
Born into a Christian family in North Africa in 332, Monica was given in marriage to Patricius, a pagan who had a disdain for his wife's religion. She dealt patiently with her husband's bad temper and infidelity to their marriage vows, and her long-suffering patience and prayers were rewarded when Patricius was baptized into the Church a year before his death.