The Life of St. Monica
The Mother of St. Augustine.
By Lady Herbert.
First published in 1901.
114 page book.
A biography like this which we are about to present to our readers should not be written. It should be sung, for it is a poem. It is the history of the most beautiful and the purest love that has ever existed; the tenderest and at the same time the strongest; passing through twenty-five years of trial and of fear, without faltering for an instant in its course; becoming only the more ardent as difficulties increase; and finally ending in a flood of triumph and of ecstasy, of glory and of joy.
Look at Ary Scheffer’s picture of St. Monica and her son, sitting in the window at Ostia, overlooking the sea. It is of that mother we would write, to console the anxious, fearful mothers of these days, and to reveal to them the enormous power God has put into their hands for the safety of their children.
In the seventeenth century, St. Francis de Sales sustained, strengthened, and consoled a host of Christian mothers by the example of St. Monica, why should not a similar example produce its fruits in the nineteenth (or twenty-first)? Are the dangers less pressing? are not the needs as great? Perhaps there never was a moment when lives and mothers, if worthy of the name, were called upon to bear such deep sorrows. Let them then read the history of St. Monica. Let them learn from the model of wives and mothers to pray and to weep like her, to hope to no end, never to be discouraged, and to believe that if the young men of the present day yield to their terrible temptations, it is because there are not enough tears and prayers in the hearts of their wives and mothers, ascending daily and hourly before the throne of God.