St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, was relentless in her attempts to convert her son to Christianity. In the end, as Augustine wrote in his book Confessions, it was his mother's extreme piety which convinced him to convert. In particular, he was impressed by Monica's love for poor and disadvantaged people, even those whom she didn't know. She was well-known as an alms giver, and when she began preaching the Christian message in charity, instead of simply giving food or money to supplicants, she showed Augustine by her example the importance of a pure heart. It wasn't enough, he discovered, to give money to those in need. One had to give of one's self, and the best way to do this was to share one's devotion to God.
Legend has it that Monica and Augustine spent the year 386 in a secluded village in the mountains of Northern Italy, where Monica's devotion and preaching finally convinced Augustine to accept baptism into the Christian church.