Abbess (480-ca. 547)
+ What we know of Saint Scholastica and her twin-brother Saint Benedict comes from the second book of the Dialogues of Saint Gregory the Great.
+ Born in Norcia, Italy, Scholastica dedicated herself to a life of contemplation at roughly the same time that Benedict began living as a hermit at Subiaco.
+ In order to be closer to her brother, Scholastica founded a monastery of women near Subiaco. Later, when Benedict built his monastery at Monte Cassino, Scholastica established another community not far away.
+ According to the Dialogues, Benedict had the custom of visiting his sister each year. During one visit, when Benedict was preparing to return to his monastery, Scholastica asked him to stay longer. Benedict refused, noting that he had to return to his abbey before nightfall. Scholastica lowered her head in prayer and a storm broke, preventing Benedict from leaving. When Benedict asked what she had done, Scholastica replied, “I asked you, and you would not listen; so I asked God and he did listen.”
+ Saint Scholastica died a few days after this final meeting with Saint Benedict, sometime around the year 547. According to tradition, her relics were enshrined with those of her brother in the abbey of Monte Cassino.
+ Saint Scholastica is honored as the patron saint of nuns and for protection against storms and lightning.
For prayer reflection
“She was able to do more because she loved more.”—Saint Gregory the Great
On this day, we also remember Blessed Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac, archbishop of Zagreb. During the Second World War he sheltered countless people—mostly Jews—from the horrors of the Holocaust. Later, once the Communists came to control (then-)Yugoslavia, he was arrested for his defense of the rights and freedom of the Church. He died in prison in Krašić (now in Croatia), on February 10, 1960, and was beatified as a martyr in 1998.
While all Benedictine nuns and sisters celebrate Saint Scholastica in a special way, the following communities are dedicated to the memory of this holy nun:
-St. Scholastica Priory (Petersham, MA): www.stscholasticapriory.org
-St. Scholastica Monastery (Chicago, IL): www.osbchicago.org
-Mount St. Scholastica (Atchison, KS): www.mountosb.org
-St. Scholastica Monastery (Duluth, MN): www.duluthbenedictines.org
-St. Scholastica Monastery (Boerne, TX): www.boernebenedictines.org
-St. Scholastica Monastery (Fort Smith, AR): www.stscho.org
As we celebrate anew the Memorial of the Virgin Saint Scholastica,
we pray, O Lord,
that, following her example,
we may serve you with pure love
and happily receive what comes from loving you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.