Thursday, February 10, 2011

Saint Scholastica

Today the Church honors Saint Scholastica, the sister of Saint Benedict. Saint Scholastica was born in Nursia in Italy about the year 480. She vowed herself to God and followed her brother to Monte Cassino. She died there around the year 547.

Most of what we know about Saint Scholastica comes from the writings of Pope Saint Gregory the Great. There is a famous story that 3 days before she died, Saint Benedict came to see his sister, when night fell, although his sister begged him to stay, Saint Benedict said that he must return to his monastery.

According to Gregory: "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." Reluctant as he was to stay of his own will, he remained against his will. So it came about that they stayed awake the whole night, engrossed in their conversation about the spiritual life."

PRAYER: Lord, as we recall the memory of Saint Scholastica, we ask that by her example we may serve you with love and obtain pefect joy. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.