St. Monica is widely known for the tears she shed for her son, Augustine. It is believed that her prayers and example played a vital role in his conversion.
This has given her a general patronage for all mothers, but it shouldn’t stop there.
St. Monica was also a prayerful grandmother.
During Augustine’s pagan years, he had a concubine, who bore a son named Adeodatus.
His son remained in Augustine’s custody and the two of them lived with Monica.
In fact, both were baptized together, as St. Augustine narrates in his Confessions.
We took into our company the boy Adeodatus, born of me carnally, of my sin. Well had Thou made him. He was barely fifteen years, yet in wit excelled many grave and learned men. I confess unto You Your gifts, O Lord my God, Creator of all, and of exceeding power to reform our deformities; for of me was there naught in that boy but the sin. For that we fostered him in Your discipline, You inspired us, none other — Your gifts I confess unto You… We took him coeval with us in Your grace, to be educated in Your discipline; and we were baptized, and solicitude about our past life left us.
While Adeodatus died at the age of 16, he lived long enough to witness the death of his grandma, Monica.
I closed [Monica’s] eyes; and there flowed a great sadness into my heart, and it was passing into tears, when my eyes at the same time, by the violent control of my mind, sucked back the fountain dry, and woe was me in such a struggle! But, as soon as she breathed her last the boy Adeodatus burst out into wailing, but, being checked by us all, he became quiet.
St. Monica had a profound effect not only on her son, but also her grandson.
In this way, St. Monica is a great example for all mothers and grandmothers alike.