Welcome to KNOW YOUR SAINTS! a Sunday blog that features a saint whose feast day is celebrated during the following week. Be sure to find the poll located at the end of this post to vote for upcoming featured saints!
Thanks for joining me!
480 – 542
Feast Day Feb 10th
Two weeks ago, the voting resulted in a three-way tie, and a tie breaker resulted in St. Scholastica winning the draw. However, I would like to note that the three way tie was the result of just THREE votes! Now I know that I have a few more readers than that, so who out there isn’t voting? You? Why not? There’s nothing to it, just the click of a mouse – I don’t even ask your e-mail address! (And if it does require something of you, let me know) And be sure to share on whatever social media you use what saint you pick – maybe you can get your friends to help that saint win for the week! As I said on my other blog this past week, more readers helps me to keep doing this here, and we all need to know more about the saints, don’t we?
Ok, enough about me. Now on to St. Scholastica!
Scholastica is a curious saint, and, like many saints from this early time, we only seem to know about her through one fantastic story, and her brother. She is the twin sister of St. Benedict, whom you may recall is the one to form the benedictine monks. Most of what we know about her comes through her relationship with him, as it seems that otherwise her life would not have been all that remarkable. More on that in a minute.
Like Jesus, her and Benedict’s early life is shrouded in mystery. It is said that her mother died in childbirth, and she was consecrated to God as an infant. We know nothing else of her till she became a nun about five miles away from her brother’s monastery at Monte Cassino. Being orphaned twins with a deep spiritual life and connection, they visited each other once a year for one day to conference and make sure that each was on the path to holiness. After what would be their last meeting, Benedict prepared to go back to his monastery, but Scholastica did not want to see him leave, knowing somehow, she would not see him face to face again. The following story explains…
“The holy nun said to her brother, “Please do not leave me tonight; let us go on until morning talking about the delights of the spiritual life.” “Sister,” he replied, “What are you saying? I simply cannot stay outside my cell.” When she heard her brother refuse her request, the holy woman joined her hands on the table, laid her head on them and began to pray. As she raised her head from the table, there were such brilliant flashes of lightning, such great peals of thunder and such a heavy downpour of rain that neither Benedict nor his brethren could stir across the threshold of the place where they had been seated. Sadly, he began to complain. “May God forgive you, sister. What have you done?” “Well, she answered, “I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery.” So it came about that they stayed awake the whole night, engrossed in their conversation about the spiritual life.” – from Dialogues by Pope Saint Gregory the Great
Benedict left her the next day, and just three days later had a vision of his sister’s soul flying like a dove into heaven.
And there you have it, in a nutshell, all we know about St. Scholastica. Don’t let that stop you from getting to know her yourself more than what is here! Her name means “she who has leisure to devote to study” and if you’re ever caught in a rainstorm, or need a good excuse for someone to stay with you, you know God listens to her prayers!
Dear St. Scholastica, just as your relationship with your brother helped you get into heaven, help us build up the relationships around us with holiness, and let us help guide others into heaven by our thoughts words and deeds. Pray with your brother for us as you sit before God in Heaven. Amen.
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