So the search began. I had a list of criteria and while it wasn’t extensive there were a few key qualifications that made the position hard to fill:
- She had to be a woman.
- She had to be a wife and mother.
- She couldn’t be Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Nothing against her but she just didn’t feel right to me.
- She had to represent something that spoke to me and the future I was embarking upon.
One night I was discussing my quandary with C, looking for some guidance from the resident cradle Catholic, when he brought up Saint Monica – the mother of Saint Augustine. I knew nothing about her and my limited knowledge of him came from reading excerpts of On Christian Doctrine for a course on Milton in college. There wasn’t a ton of information available on Monica but the little blurbs I could find spoke to me. I had found my confirmation saint.
Monica filled my requirements and more. While she may not be considered an intellectual, she was able to hold her own when speaking with Augustine, a doctor of the Church. I may not be an intellectual in the purest sense of the word but I do have those leanings. She was able to guide her family to the Church despite many obstacles, particularly with Augustine and Patricius her husband. I don’t face the same challenges she did but I feel that she can understand those that I do face and help guide me in the right direction.
In short, she seemed like a smart, strong woman of God with (literally) the patience and fortitude of a saint. What’s not to love? And her example does help guide me through the day-to-day trials and tribulations of mothering 3 young children and even being a working mom.