St Monica is the mother of St Augustine of Hippo. She was born in the North African city of Thagaste, which is now in modern Algeria, and she married a pagan man called Patricius. Monica had at least two children but we are not sure of the number.
One son, Augustine, was heading off to Rome to seek his fortune. He was a very brilliant youth and was going to Rome to study philosophy, but pagan philosophy, not Christian. Monica feared that he would lose his soul in the big city. She prayed constantly for his conversion.
As he was leaving Thagaste and she sat watching the boat sail off into the distance, Monica wept bitter tears. The bishop of Thagaste was with her and he assured her that "God could not refuse so sincere a prayer."
Her son converted to Christianity and became bishop of Hippo, a saint and a doctor of the church. His feast is tomorrow, the 28th. This is one of the few "pairs of feasts" we have in the church year.