Spirituality for Today – February 2015 – Volume 19, Issue 7

Saint of the Month
St. Scholastica

February 10

A painting of Saint ScholasticaSaint Scholastica

Scholastica was born near Spoleto, Italy, probably early in the sixth century. She was the sister, perhaps the twin, of Benedict, and the two siblings took similar paths. All that is known of Scholastica comes from the Dialogues written by Gregory the Great about 50 years after Scholastica's death.

Scholastica and her brother dedicated themselves to God at an early age. Benedict became a hermit at Subaccio, and he finally settled at Monte Cassino, a monastery near Naples. Scholastica soon followed, and she settled about five miles south of him at Plombariola. There, she founded and probably supervised a community of nuns, who lived under Benedict's rule, which called for work and prayer, including meditation and spiritual reading.

Because she was a woman, Scholastica was not allowed to enter Benedict's monastery. But once a year, they met just outside the monastery.

On their last visit probably in 547, they talked until nightfall, had supper together, and talked some more. As Benedict prepared to leave, Scholastica begged him to stay until morning. When he refused, she fervently prayed and a storm erupted, preventing anyone from leaving. Benedict accused his sister of causing the storm. She responded, "I asked a favor of you, and you refused it. I asked it of God, and He has granted it." They stayed awake all night, according to Gregory, "engrossed in their conversation about the spiritual life." When Scholastica died three days later, Benedict looked up and saw his sister's soul leave her body in the form of a dove and fly to heaven.

When the saintly nun, St. Scholastica, begged the Lord that her brother might not leave her, she received more than her brother did from the Lord of her heart because she loved Him so much…

as we recall the memory of Saint Scholastica,
we ask that by her example
we may serve you with love and obtain perfect joy.
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.


From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives