Today, February 10th, the universal Church celebrates St. Scholastica, a great and noble abbess.
Scholastica was the twin sister of the famous Benedict, one of the fathers of monasticism, having been born in 480 of wealthy and noble parents. Pursuant to the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great, St. Gregory tells us that during the early years of life, she consecrated herself to Our Lord Jesus Christ. After Benedict established his Order at Monte Cassino in Italy, she went to Plombariola, right in that same area, where she founded a nunnery five miles to the south of her brother’s monastery.
St. Gregory further tells us that Benedict governed nuns and monks, and that Scholastica was the abbess, but under the guidance and direction of her brother. She visited her brother once a year and they were very close, sharing their goals, problems, experiences and engaging each other in spiritual matters.
Scholastica and Benedict spent their last day together in conversation and prayer; however, Scholastica sensed her death was imminent. Therefore, she asked Benedict to stay with her until the next day, but he refused because he did not want to spend a night outside the monastery. Scholastica requested of Our Lord to let her brother stay this extra day, wherein a severe thunderstorm occurred, which prevented Benedict from returning to his abbey. Benedict, in frustration said, “God forgive you, Sister. What have you done?” Scholastica responded, “I asked a favor of you and you refused. I asked it of God and he granted it.”
Scholastica and Benedict parted the next morning and three days later while Benedict was in prayer, he saw a vision of the soul of his sister rising to heaven in the form of a white dove. Benedict announced the death of his dear Scholastica and subsequently buried her in a tomb that he had prepared for his burial.
Both St. Scholastica and St. Benedict gave themselves completely and totally to the Triune God, which actually deepened their sibling bond. They received extended families and found more brothers and sisters through their religious communities.
I can only imagine how St. Scholastica and St. Benedict are celebrating in heaven today, along with the rest of the Church Triumphant, the Feast of dear St. Scholastica, talking about their memories in complete joy, peace and happiness. Help us dear St. Scholastica to always prioritize Our Lord first in our lives, and to maintain this priority with diligence, importance, self-discipline and love.
With Respect and Love,
Sources: Butler’s Lives of the Saints, edited by Michael Wallsh; Saint of the Day, edited by Leonard Foley, O.F.M.