7. Feb, 2017

She Could Do More, Because She Loved More

St. Scholastica was the twin sister of St. Benedict of Nursia, who founded the Benedictine order. They were born in Norcia, Italy around 480. From a very early age, both were very devoted to Jesus. When Benedict established his monastery at Monte Cassino, Scholastica founded a convent about five miles south.

Although the siblings were quite close, the rules of their houses did not permit either entering the other’s monastery. They met once a year at a house near the Monte Cassino monastery to talk about God and other stuff.

St. Gregory wrote a charming story of the last meeting of the two saints on earth. Scholastica and Benedict had spent the whole day together talking about heavenly things, and, with nightfall approaching, Benedict prepared to leave. Scholastica, having a vision that it would be their last opportunity to see each other alive, asked him to spend the evening in conversation. Benedict sternly refused as he did not wish to break his own rule by spending a night away from his monastery. Scholastica cried openly, laid her head upon the table, and prayed that God would intercede for her. As she did so, a sudden storm arose. The violent rain and hail came in such a torrential downpour that Benedict and his companions were unable to depart. “May Almighty God forgive you, sister,” said Benedict, “for what you have done.” “I asked a favour of you,” Scholastica replied simply, “and you refused it. I asked it of God, and He has granted it!”

Just after his return to the monastery, Benedict saw a vision of Scholastica’s soul departing her body, ascending to heaven in the form of a dove. She died three days after their last meeting. He placed her body in the tomb he had prepared for himself, and arranged for his own to be placed there after his death. She is invoked against storms.