Monday, August 28, 2006

Pope: Worried parents should take heart in St. Augustine's path

(AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)


CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI said parents worried about the waywardness of their children should take heart in the circuitous spiritual path of St. Augustine.

After a youth spent in pleasure-seeking and self-indulgence, St. Augustine embraced the faith and went on to become one of the most important figures in the development of Christianity, the pope said Aug. 27.


Much of the credit belongs to his mother, St. Monica, who despite her son's "rebellious temperament" never gave up on him and accompanied him for years with "prayers and tears," he said.

"How many problems there are today in family relations, and how many mothers are anguished because their children take the wrong road," the pope said.

"Monica, a wise woman and solid in her faith, invites them not to be discouraged, but to persevere in the mission of wife and mother, keeping firm trust in God and holding with perseverance to prayer," he said.

He said St. Augustine, despite his selfish behavior in his early years, dedicated his life to the search for truth. The saint's discovery of Christ came only after a long inner torment, he said.

The pope made the comments to several hundred pilgrims inside the courtyard of his summer villa outside Rome. The church celebrates the feast days of St. Monica Aug. 27 and St. Augustine Aug. 28.

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