St. Augustine and his mother St. Monica are some of the Church’s most famous saints. Take some time to introduce your students to their lives with these short biographies. Give the kids some time to make connections between their personal lives and the lives of these saints using the reflection questions.
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Saint Augustine of Hippo Biography & Reflection Questions
Feast Day: August 28
Saint Augustine is one of the most influential saints in the history of the Catholic Church. He was well educated and an extremely prolific writer. His mother, Saint Monica, was a devout Christian but his father did not convert to Christianity until his deathbed. Monica prayed daily for her husband and son’s conversion. As a young man, Augustine lived an immoral life contrary to Christian ideals. While studying in Milan, though, Saint Ambrose took him on as a mentor and helped him overcome his theological objections to the Church’s teachings. It wasn’t until an encounter with Christ in Scripture, however, that Augustine decided to be baptized. He was praying when her heard the voice of a child say, “Take up and read.” He opened up the Bible to a random page and read Romans 13:13-14, which he felt God wanted to share specifically with him at that moment. He became a Christian just before his mother died. He travelled to Hippo in northern Africa in hopes of becoming a monk, but the people there called for him to become a priest and then later their bishop. His many sermons and books, including his autobiography he titled Confessions, became essential texts in defining Church doctrines.
Saint Augustine Reflection Questions
- What made Saint Augustine decide to become a Christian?
- Saint Monica prayed for her son’s conversion. Whose conversion can you pray for?
- Saint Ambrose inspired Saint Augustine to learn about the Catholic faith. Who has been an influential teacher in your life? How did they inspire you?
Saint Monica Biography & Reflection Questions
Feast Day: August 27
Saint Monica was born within the Roman Empire in northern Africa around 331. She is venerated as the devout mother of one of the greatest saints (and sinners) Saint Augustine of Hippo. As a young woman, Monica was given in marriage to Patricius, a mean-tempered pagan Roman official who disliked Monica’s piety. He and their oldest son, Augustine, were not religious, but Monica prayed fervently for each of their conversions. At the end of his life, Patricius finally converted to Christianity and died shortly after his baptism. Saint Augustine was away studying rhetoric at the time of his father’s death and disappointed Monica with the news that he had joined a Christian heretical group. A year later he and the woman he was dating had a child. At first she banned him from their home, but then she saw him in a vision as a bishop. From then on she stayed close to Augustine following him from Africa to Milan. There she continued to pray for her son’s conversion. Augustine met and studied with Saint Ambrose and others until an encounter with God convinced him to leave his life of sin and become a baptized Christian along with his son and close friends. Saint Monica was overjoyed. Her prayers were finally answered. She died as a joyful mother on their return journey to Africa months later.
Saint Monica Reflection Questions
- How did Saint Monica help convert her husband and son to Christianity?
- Who in your family or among friends needs your prayers for conversion? Why?
- How can you be merciful to members of your family as Saint Monica was merciful?
Download the Worksheets for Saint Augustine and Saint Monica
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Saint Augustine and Saint Monica, pray for us!