Black Saints: Monica

St. Augustine and his mother, St. Monica, are depicted in a stained-glass window at St. Augustine Church in Washington. (CNS/Bob Roller)
This article appears in the Black Saints feature series. View the full series.


Blacks in Catholic Christianity have a long and vibrant history.

Much of that history is generally unknown to Black Catholics as well as to the rest of the faithful. On July 24, 1990, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus of the United States designated November as Black Catholic History Month to celebrate this long history and proud heritage of Black Catholics. During this month we celebrate the presence of our ancestors who kept the faith and are models of living the Gospel life.

Nov. 4 Saint Monica

Did you know that perhaps no mother, other than the Virgin Mary herself, is considered to have had so much influence on the early Catholic Christian Church, as Monica of Tagaste, Africa? Why so? Because Saint Monica spent most of her lifetime praying for the Christian conversion of a wayward and wordly son, who eventually became one of the Church’s greatest theologians, Saint Augustine. Some observers considered her an interfering, in-your-face kind of mom. Others saw her as a shrewd woman of faith and spiritual anchor for a son whose talents she felt belonged to the Church. A crowning moment for Saint Monica was when she saw Augustine finally baptized in the Church. She died in the year 387

This week, we celebrate the first anniversary of the launch of our podcast, NCR in Conversation. Catch the latest episode here.

November is Black Catholic History Month, read more about it.

This is copyrighted material, used with the permission of the Archdiocese of Washington, Office of Black Catholics.

Just $5 a month supports NCR's independent Catholic journalism.

We are committed to keeping our online journalism open and available to as many readers as possible. To do that, we need your help. Join NCR Forward, our new membership program.


Looking for comments?

We've suspended comments on for a while. If you missed that announcement, learn more about our decision here.