Later, as a student in Carthage, Augustine came to follow a heretical teaching, Manachaeism, that claimed that the body was evil while the soul alone was good. He also liked to party, and he lived with his girlfriend and their son, Adeodatus.
Mother and son rarely spoke to each other. Still Monica continued to pray for Augustine after a bishop told her that it was better to talk to God about Augustine than to Augustine about God.
Augustine’s time came some years later. In Milan, Augustine was inspired by the preaching of the Catholic bishop there, St. Ambrose. One day Augustine went out to the garden at the place where he was staying.
Just then Augustine could hear the singing of a child on the other side of the wall. The child kept repeating the same verse over and over, “Tolle lege! Tolle lege!” which means “Take up and read!” He got up, went inside, and found the Bible opened to Romans 13 where he read: “Let us throw off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the desires of the flesh’ (Rm 13:12-14).
Augustine was baptized by Ambrose on Easter Sunday in 387. Soon after, his mother died. Augustine lived chastely from that time on. He was ordained and named bishop of Hippo. St. Augustine is one of the great scholars of the Church. He is a Doctor of the Church.
His mother has not been forgotten either. St. Monica is the patron saint of mothers and fathers and of all lost and wayward children.