Some of this week’s saints are recognizable while other are not.
Monica of Hippo (AD 331 – 387)
Monica is the mother of St. Augustine. Monica was married early in life to a pagan, Patricius, and they had three children. Monica wanted them to be baptized but Patricius wouldn’t allow it and he was annoyed by her alms giving and prayer. Augustine was a misspent youth and he did a little of this and that and never really enjoyed school. After his father died Augustine came home a Manichaean,who dealt in dualism, Monica sent him away but later reconciled with him. Augustine writes a great deal about her in his Confessions. Monica is a great mother figure as she never gave up on her son and helped him become the popular saint that he is today.
Jeanne Jugan (25 October 1792 – 29 August 1879)
Jeanne Jugan is the Founder of the Little Sisters of the Poor. She was born and raised in France during the political and religious jumble that was the French Revolution. At the age of 4 Jeanne’s father was lost at sea so her mother, Marie struggled to provide for her 8 children and also taught them religion in secret. So Jeanne worked as a shepherdess from a young age and when she was 16 she started working as a kitchen maid for the Viscountess de la Choue. Jeanne was proposed to twice by the same guy and she rejected it both time as she felt God had a higher call for her. At 25 she started in the religious field as she became an Associate in the Congregation of Jesus and Mary she worked at a hospital until she had to leave for health reason.
So time when by and in 1837 the first pieces of the Little Sisters came into view, Jeanne rented a house and with a couple of friends they formed a Catholic community of prayer, devoted to teaching the catechism and assisting the poor. A couple of year later Jeanne encountered Anne Chauvin a blind and paralyzed elderly woman who had no one to care for her so Jeanne took her home and gave Anne her bed. The Little Sisters of the Poor began, if you ever have the opportunity to work with the Little Sisters it is a very rewarding experience.
Moses the Black (330–405)
Moses the Black is the other Moses and a notable Desert Father. Moses was a servant of some Egyptian government official, and he was dismissed on accusations of theft and murder, similar to that other Moses. His conversion story is remarkable as one day a dog prevented Moses from robbing a house and he got so made Moses tried again and the owner was alerted so Moses took some sheep instead, and thought it would be best for him to hide from the authorities. So Moses made his way down to Sketes where he hide amongst the monks. While he was there Moses was greatly inspired by the monks and Moses was baptized and became a monk.
Now according to some of the legends Moses didn’t always fit in once a group of robbers attacked his cell and Moses fought back and subdued the robbers and brought them to his brothers to ask what to do. The robbers repented and were baptized and they also became monks. Another story goes that the abbot asked the brothers to fast for a certain week. One day some brothers went to visit Moses and he prepared a meal for them. His neighboring monks reported that he was breaking the fast but Moses countered by saying “You did not keep a human commandment, but it was so that you might keep the divine commandment of hospitality.”
Margaret the Barefooted (1325–1395)
Here is a saint that little is known about. Margaret like Monica was abused by her husband for her devotion to the church. It is said that she walked around barefooted to better associate with the poor.
All four of these saints have great qualities that we can follow. From Monica we can learn persistence as she tirelessly prayed that he son join the church. from Jeanne Jugan we can learn compassion for all and being a companion even till death. From Moses we learn about strength and how through hospitality we can grow closer to God. From Margaret we can learn a little humility as she would become like those she was serving, all to often we come into service as someone who is better off and is doing something for them. Margaret flips this over and serves from an equal level so it means more