February 11, 2016 Comments Off on Lent Madness: Helena vs. Monnica
Remember: vote at Lent Madness here AND ALSO below the saint bios here so we see how the readers of the St. Luke in the Fields blog compare! Results of this match up will be reported the next day.
During her long life, Helena gathered the most-sought-after relics in Christian history, including splinters of what is known as the True Cross.
Helena was born around 246 CE, somewhere in Asia Minor—most likely the city of Drepanum. She grew up as a stable maid, but her fortunes changed radically when she met the emperor, fell in love with him, was whisked away to Rome, and gave birth to Constantine in 272 CE.
Some describe Helena as the royal wife, some as the royal concubine, some as the royal consort. What is clear is that after Constantine was born, the emperor sent Helena away. Helena and Constantine were exiled from court in 289 CE.
Monnica, a model of the praying mother and wife, was the mother of Augustine—the father of Western Christian thought. Married to a pagan bureaucrat named Patricius, who would later convert to Christianity under her influence, Monnica was mother to several children; Augustine was the eldest. After her husband’s death, Monnica made fierce and tireless efforts to secure Augustine’s conversion, even going so far as to push the local bishop to track Augustine down and argue with him.
By the time he was twenty-nine, Augustine decided to journey to Rome to teach rhetoric. Monnica, while opposed to the plan, persisted in going with him… Read more here.