st_monica_of_hippoIt’s hard, being a parent.

Dads, you’re spending up to twelve hours in the office or at the job site some days. You smile at people you would rather right-hook, swat through the politics and the back-stabbing of corporate, beat back deadlines. Sometimes you miss lunch because that client called (you know, that really needy one).

Then you come home, feeling a little frayed and exhausted, and your wife hands you the baby or the bill.

It’s time for round two.

Moms, you’re maintaining a family calendar and kitchen. You drive the kids to school, to practice, to social events. You pack, spray, lift, and sauté six to seven days a week. Those wriggling little bodies only become more active as they grow, and soon you’re chasing them out of the cleaning supplies and into social media.

Outgrowing Church?

You try your hardest to teach them their faith. You bring them to Mass every Sunday, and maybe five days out of the week.

And yet, your teenager seems to worship the XBox or Beyonce.

Maybe your college student abandoned Catholicism two weeks into college.

That hurts.

There are few things as hard to watch as your child leaving the faith, abandoning the greatest good for a lesser one.

St. Monica watched her beloved son, Augustine, lead a wild, sinful life. Despite the pain this caused her, she prayed for his conversion.

Every day.

For years.

It worked. Augustine changed from being one of the greatest sinners to the greatest saint in the Church. Pray this Novena to St. Monica for your children, and let God move in their hearts and lives.

Novena to St. Monica of Hippo

Exemplary Mother of the Great Augustine,
You perserveringly pursued your wayward son
Not with wild threats
But with prayerful cries to heaven.

Intercede for all mothers in our day
So that they may learn
To draw their children to God.

Teach them how to remain
Close to their children,
Even the prodigal sons and daughters
Who have sadly gone astray.

Dear St Monica, troubled wife and mother,
Many sorrows pierced your heart
During your lifetime.
Yet you never despaired or lost faith.
With confidence, persistence and profound faith,
You prayed daily for the conversion
Of your beloved husband, Patricius
And your beloved son, Augustine.

Grant me that same fortitude,
Patience and trust in the Lord.
Intercede for me, dear St. Monica,
That God may favorably hear my plea
For (mention your petition here)

And grant me the grace
To accept his will in all things,
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
In the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God forever and ever. Amen.

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