Today, February 10, is the Feast of St. Scholastica.  She is the twin sister of St. Benedict who is the founder of Western monasticism.  She was so devoted to her brother that when St. Benedict founded a monastery at Monte Cassino, she also founded a convent at Plumbariola, about 5 miles south of Monte Cassino. Almost all that is known about Sts. Scholastica and Benedict came from the writings of St. Gregory.  In his Dialogues, St. Gregory tells of the following miracle which happened on the last meeting of the two saints.

Scholastica and Benedict had spent the day in the “mutual comfort of heavenly talk” and with nightfall approaching, Benedict prepared to leave. Scholastica, having a presentiment that it would be their last opportunity to see each other alive, asked him to spend the evening in conversation. Benedict sternly refused because he did not wish to break his own rule by spending a night away from Monte Cassino. Thereupon, Scholastica cried openly, laid her head upon the table, and prayed that God would intercede for her. As she did so, a sudden storm arose. The violent rain and hail came in such a torrential downpour that Benedict and his companions were unable to depart.“May Almighty God forgive you, sister” said Benedict, “for what you have done.”

“I asked a favor of you,” Scholastica replied simply, “and you refused it. I asked it of God, and He has granted it!”

Just after his return to Monte Cassino, Benedict saw a vision of Scholastica’s soul departing her body, ascending to heaven in the form of a dove. She died three days after their last meeting.

Sad story, no? But I guess Scholastica must have known that it was the last time she was going to see her brother alive, which is why she prayed hard to have him stay for the night.

What can we learn from St. Scholastica?  Her life was so simple and yet she became a saint – which means we don’t have to live great lives just to become a saint!  Anyway, here is something I got from on what St. Scholastica can teach us.

Some say that we should only petition God for momentously important matters.  God’s love, however, is so great that we wishes to give us every good thing. He is ever ready to hear our prayers: our prayers of praise and thanksgiving, and our prayers of petition, repentance, and intercession. Nothing is too great or too trivial to share with our Father. The dependent soul learns that everything we are and have is from His bountiful goodness; when we finally learn that lesson we turn to Him with all our hopes and  dreams and needs. Saint Scholastica is obviously one of those who learned the lesson of her own helplessness.

Prayer: O God, to show us where innocence leads, you made the soul of your virgin Saint Scholastica soar to heaven like a dove in flight. Grant through her merits and her prayers that we may so live in innocence as to attain to joys everlasting. This we ask through our Lord. 

St. Scholastica, pray for us!