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The Tears of Saint Monica

Saint MonicaThe tears of St. Monica and the golden words of St. Ambrose led to the conversion of her son, St. Augustine of Hippo. Sorrow expressed in prayer is very valuable. There’s nothing wrong with getting emotional and pouring all our sadness upon God. Our tears are like precious diamonds for Jesus; they are not bullets that shoot our frustrations heavenward to force God to hurry up and make things better. Each tear is itself a prayer. When you’re tired of using words, just cry.

Our tears, given to God in a moment of surrender, are very precious prayer-diamonds that he treasures and holds delicately. For the moment, we’ve quit trying to change what we cannot change. We might still want to, but while we’re crying we have stopped trying. In that humble surrender, we give God clearance to move in and comfort us.

Litany of Saint Monica

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.

God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God,
have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, conceived without stain of original sin,
pray for us and for our children.

Holy Mary, glorious Mother of Jesus Christ,
pray for us and for our children.

St. Monica,
pray for us and for our children.

Model of wives,
pray for us and for our children.

You who converted your unbelieving husband, Mother of St. Augustine,
pray for us and for our children.

Strict and prudent teacher, guardian of your son in all his ways,
pray for us and for our children.

You who carefully watched over his conduct,
pray for us and for our children.

You who were sorely distressed at his erring from the right,
pray for us and for our children.

You who were untiring in your petitions for his soul’s safety,
pray for us and for our children.

You who still hoped on amid the bitterness of your heart and your floods of tears,
pray for us and for our children.

You who were filled with consolation upon his return to God,
pray for us and for our children.

You who died calmly after faithfully fulfilling your duties,
pray for us and for our children.

You who are the prayerful intercessor of all mothers who pray and weep as you did,
pray for us and for our children.

Preserve the innocence of our children,
we beseech you, St. Monica.

Protect them against the deceits of evil men,
we beseech you, St. Monica.

Protect them from the dangers of bad example,
we beseech you, St. Monica.

Watch over the movements of grace in their hearts.
Let the Christian virtues strike deep root in their hearts and bear much fruit.
Redouble your intercession for youth approaching manhood.
Obtain for all in mortal sin true contrition and perfect conversion.
Obtain for all mothers to fulfill their duties steadily and perseveringly.

Commend all mothers to the protection
of the ever-blessed Virgin Mother of Our Lord.
Favorably incline the heart of your beloved son Augustine
to the salvation of our children.

St. Augustine, holy son of a saintly mother,
pray for us and for our children.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord!

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord!

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us, O Lord!

Pray for us, O holy St. Monica,
That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

“How many difficulties there are also today in family relationships and how many mothers are anguished because their children choose mistaken ways! Monica, a wise and solid woman in the faith, invites them not to be discouraged, but to persevere in their mission of wives and mothers, maintaining firm their confidence in God and clinging with perseverance to prayer.” (Pope Benedict XVI)

Novena of Saint Monica

Exemplary Mother of the Great Augustine,
you perseveringly 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.
Amen.

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, 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.

Text above the Litany is © 2007 by Terry A. Modica

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