Blessed Monica (May 4)

Full Text

1 In Afric’s northern coastland
When Mother Church was young,
Was born the holy woman
Of whom this hymn is sung.
O Monica, beloved
before God thee we own,
Our constant intercessor
Before his heav’nly throne.

2 Exemplar for all mothers,
And patron saint of wives,
She led her spouse and children
In holy, Christian lives.
Affection, patience, wisdom,
True zeal and constancy:
With these gifts God endowed her
And holy Charity.

3 Saint Monica entreated
The throne of heav’nly grace,
That her dear son, Augustine
The Gospel might embrace.
Her tearful prayers were answered,
Her heart no longer riven;
Confessor, bishop, doctor
She to the Church has giv’n.

4 In Ostia’s port, Augustine
Heard her last dying word;
He wished his mother’s body
In Afric’s soil interred.
“No place is far from God,”
Was her most urgent plea;
“When at God’s holy altar
Do there remember me.”

5 O Saint of perseverance
Be with us as we pray;
That we with zeal and ardor
Might serve our God alway;
To whom we raise our praises
As will be ever meet,
To Father, Son Eternal
And Holy Paraclete.

Author: Harold T. Lewis (b. 1947)

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Text Information

First Line: In Afric's northern coastland
Title: Blessed Monica (May 4)
Author: Harold T. Lewis (b. 1947)
Language: English
Copyright: © 1992 Harold T. Lewis



Henry T. Smart (PHH 233) composed the tune in 1835 for use at a missions festival at Blackburn, Lancashire, England. For that festival, which celebrated the three-hundredth anniversary of the Reformation in England, the tune was set to Reginald Heber's (PHH 249) “From Greenland's Icy Mountains.”…

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