This seaside city is named after Saint Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine, but the reason why remains undetermined. One telling says it was named by explorer Gaspar de Portolà, who camped there in 1769 and named it in honor of the feast day of Saint Monica. Another credits Father Juan Crespi, who claimed a pair of creeks known as the Kuruvunga Springs (technically located outside of Santa Monica’s border), were like the tears of Saint Monica, who, prior to her son’s conversion, wept nightly over his impiety.
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