Monday, February 10, 2014

St. Scholastica


I didn’t intend on continuing my series on the saints beyond the Year of Faith, but there are just too many interesting people! Today is the feast of St. Scholastica, who, it turns out, is not the patron saint of children’s book fairs. However, she still peaked my interest.

Scholastica was the twin sister of St. Benedict. She was born around 480 into a wealthy family. She started an order in Monte Cassino, making her the founder of the women’s branch of Benedictine monasticism. Not much is known about her other than her lifelong devotion to God and her popular brother. When she died (around the year 543), Benedict had a vision of her soul ascending like a dove.

She is invoked against storms and rain. This is because of the story about the last time she and Benedict saw one another before her death. Although they lived only a few miles apart, they met only once a year. When it was time for Benedict to leave, Scholastica begged him to stay overnight, but he refused, as it would be breaking one of his rules about being outside of the order overnight. She prayed to God for her brother to stay, and a thunderstorm so severe came through that Benedict could not leave until the next morning. Benedict cried out, “Sister, what have you done?” and she replied, “I asked a favor of you and you refused. I asked a favor of God and he granted it.”

Scholastica is also the patron of nuns and convulsive children.

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