SAINTS

FEB. 10: ST. SCHOLASTICA

(480-543)

St. Scholastica was the sister and follower of St. Benedict. They were the children of Eutropius, in the town of Nursia (Norcia). He was a descendent of an ancient senatorial family of Rome.

At the age of 12, Scholastica and her brother were sent to Rome (their mother had died). The siblings were appalled by the goings on in that city. When he became of age Benedict retired to a hermitage leaving his sister as next in line as heir to the family. Scholastica feeling no attachment to worldly possessions eventually asked her father to be allowed to dedicate herself to religious life, first entering a monastery near Nursia and then moving to Subiaco, following her brother who had founded the Abbey of Montecasino.

A little more than four miles away from Montecasino, in Piumarola, Scholastica founded a monastery for women. Together they observed the Rule of St. Benedict, including the rule of silence, and avoiding conversation with people outside the monastery, even if they were devoted visitors. Once a year Benedict and Scholastica would meet about halfway between their two monasteries to confer on spiritual matters

On their final meeting together, their talks had stretched late into the day. Scholastica asked her brother to continue the discussion the next morning. Benedict refused, saying it would break the rule. Scholastica then asked God to intervene and not let her brother depart. A violent storm forced Benedict to stay, so that the two did talk all night.

Noteworthy is Benedict’s reported initial reaction to the sudden downpour: “Almighty God forgive you, sister. What have you done?” to which Scholastica answered, “See, I have asked you, and He has answered me. Now go out if you can; leave me and go back to the monastery.”

How could Benedict go? After all, he was the one who taught his sister to turn to the Lord when things seem impossible, for He makes all possible.

Three days after this meeting, Benedict was informed of his sister’s death by a divine sign: he saw his sister’s soul ascend to Heaven in the form of a white dove. He then desired to bury her in the tomb he had set up for himself and where he too would be buried, a short time later. “As their minds had always been united in God, in the same way the bodies were joined in the same sepulcher.”

Those who arrive today — after 15 centuries of history — to the majestic abbey of Montecasino, will live the emotion of being before of the tomb of the Holy Brother and Sister, guides to an unbroken chain of God-seekers down through the centuries and into the future.

St. Scholastica is the patron saint of Benedictine nuns, education and convulsive children, and is invoked against storms and rain.

Adapted by A. J. Valentini from: St. Scholastica, Virgin, sister of St. Benedetto – Information on the – Vatican News. (n.d.). Vatican News. Retrieved Feb. 3, 2021, from https://www.vaticannews.va/en/saints/02/10/st–scolastica–virgin–sister-di-s–benedetto.html