Tuesday, February 10, 2015

St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica and St. Benedict
Today we celebrate St. Scholastica's feast. St. Scholastica (d. 543) was the little sister of the hero of western monasticism, St. Benedict of Nursia. She founded a community of nuns near her brother's monastery of Monte Cassino.

To be the parent of one saint is quite remarkable. Of two is scarcely imaginable!

One evening St. Scholastica was in deep conversation with St. Benedict. As the hour grew late, St. Benedict insisted on returning to his monastery. When St. Scholastica's entreaties did not change his mind, she prayed to God. Suddenly, a terrible thunderstorm swept over them. St. Benedict had no choice but to stay the night, which they spent in spiritual conversation.

Three days later, St. Scholastica died. St. Benedict laid her body in his own tomb. He was comforted, however, by a vision of his little sister's soul ascending into heaven.

There is a charming pious practice of saying "St. Scholastica!" at the first peals of thunder from an approaching storm. It invokes her intercession and reminds us of her love for her holy brother.

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