Feb. 10, St. Scholastica

 |  NCR Today

In the Office of Readings for the Feast of St. Scholastica we find St. Gregory's famous account of the last meeting of Scholastica and Benedict.

"She was accustomed to visiting her brother once a year. He would come down to meet her at a place on the monastery property, not far outside the gate.

"One day she came as usual and her saintly brother went with some of his disciples; they spent the whole day praising God and talking of sacred things. As night fell they had supper together.

"Their spiritual conversation went on and the hour grew late. The holy nun said to her brother: 'Please do not leave me tonight; let us go on until morning talking about the delights of the spiritual life.' 'Sister,' he replied, 'what are you saying? I simply cannot stay outside my cell.'

"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."

She died three days later. He saw her soul ascend to heaven in the form of a dove. He buried her in the grave he had prepared for himself.

The relics of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica are enshrined at the High Altar of Monte Cassino's Basilica Cathedral.

It is believed that Scholastica and Benedict were born c. 480 in Norcia, and that they were of the patrician Anicii family. They died c. 545.

Click here for more about St. Scholastica.

Some images of St. Scholastica.

The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica, a picture book by Kathleen Norris and Tomie dePaola. Search term: "sassy".

A very happy feast day to all Benedictines, to their students and alumnae and alumni, to all Oblates, and to all friends of the Order of St. Benedict!

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June 16-29, 2017