Wednesday, February 10, 2016

St. Scholastica

When you read of siblings who are saints, and then look at your own kids, you can't help but be overwhelmed by a sense of profound failure as a parent. The Bear is joking. (St. Benedict would probably not approve of having a sense of humor during Lent. Or anytime.)

In truth, you can't help but marvel at the job some parents did at rearing their children in the faith. Last year, history was made by the first ever canonization of a married couple of children in the same ceremony. Louis Martin and Marie-Azelie Guerin "practiced Christian service in the family, creating day by day an environment of faith and love which nurtured the vocations of their daughters, including St. Therese of the Child Jesus." (From the Pope's homily.)

Of course, Catholic parents have a strong influence on the faith of their children, although ultimately, they will make their own choices. Lent is a good time for demonstrating a consistent example of prayer, fasting, alms and service. Many Catholics have also chosen a spiritual book to read during Lent.

Two famous sibling saints are St. Benedict and his twin sister, St. Scholastica (d. 543). St. Scholastica's memorial is on February 10.

St. Benedict founded his famous monastery at Monte Cassino, and his sister founded a convent about five miles away. St. Benedict would visit to provide direction to the nuns, and to see his beloved sister.

The two loved to talk about spiritual subjects. On one visit, the time grew late, and, obeying his own Rule, St. Benedict prepared to return to his monastery, despite the pleas of his sister to stay. Finally, St. Scholastica resorted to prayer, and immediately a terrible storm blew in, preventing her brother's departure. They continued their holy conversation far into the night.

As it turned out, this would be their last visit. St. Scholastica died three days later, and St. Benedict had her laid in his own tomb. St. Benedict followed his sister to Heaven shortly afterwards.

St. Scholastica is the patron saint of nuns and is sometimes invoked in storms. At a clap of thunder, it is a pious tradition to say "St. Scholastica."

By the way, the video is produced by the same "Apostleship of Prayer" that produces Pope Francis' Pope Videos. Evidently they have been around for awhile doing different things.


  1. My cats are brother and sister and are named Benedict and Scholastica. Benedict is purry sweet and watches tv with me. Scholastica is fat and aloof. Also I had a boyfriend eons ago form Monte Cassino and I visited the monastery.
    I think I remember getting to view the bodies of them.
    Seattle Kim

    1. Cool. I don't think the real St. Benedict was furry and sweet. As we read through the Rule we are always amused by his instructions that boys should be beaten by everyone. First your parents dump you at a monastery because you're another mouth to feed, then the monks beat you all the time. Nice.


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