St Monica: Patron Saint of Alcoholics
Saint Monica was the mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo, whose writings about her are the primary source of our information. A Christian from birth, she was given in marriage to a bad-tempered, pagan named Patricius. She prayed constantly for the conversion of her husband (who converted on his death bed), and of her son (who converted after a wild life). She was the spiritual student of Saint Ambrose of Milan and was, herself, a reformed alcoholic – hence her patronage of alcoholics.
Patron Saint of Alcoholics from Listverse top 10 lists
The name of Matt Talbot is not well known outside of Ireland, but Talbot will likely be canonized in the not-too-distant future and become the patron saint of alcoholics. He was declared Venerable by Pope Paul VI in 1975.
From his early years up to the age of twenty-four, Matt Talbot was a very heavy drinker, and clearly an alcoholic. This was a source of great distress to his mother. His pay check each week went primarily for alcohol. He frequented pubs every night, and when he ran out of money, he borrowed and scrounged among his fellow drinkers. To sustain his habit, he pawned his clothes and boots to get money for alcohol. On one occasion, he stole a violin from a street musician and sold it to buy drink. Most of his jobs in that early period were deliberately with liquor merchants, where he had easy access to alcohol.
In 1884, however, Talbot stopped drinking and made a three-month pledge to refrain from alcohol. Having been successful in that attempt, he made a year-long and then a life-long pledge. Despite great temptations, he never took a drink again. For the rest of his life, however, abstinence was for him a fierce spiritual and psychological struggle.
Read More at: Catholic News Agency on Matt Talbot
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