Thursday, February 10, 2011

Strenth and zeal

  “From the Eucharist comes strength
to live the Christian life and
zeal to share that life with others.”

Pope Ven John Paul II


St Scholastica
Italy ~ 480-547
Benedictine Abbess
FEAST DAY – February 10

"She was able to do more because
she loved more." ~ St Gregory the Great

Sta Scholastica, ora pro nobis!

Saint Scholastica, twin sister of Saint Benedict of Nursia who founded of the
Benedictine order, was consecrated to God at a very early age but probably
continued to live in her parents' home. It is said that she was as devoted to
as she was to her brother. So, when Benedict established his monastery at

Monte Cassino, Scholastica founded a convent in nearby Plombariola,
about five miles south of Monte Cassino. The convent is said to have been under
the direction of her brother, thus she is regarded as the first Benedictine nun.

The siblings were quite close. The respective rules of their houses proscribed
either entering the other's monastery. According to Saint Gregory, they met once
a year at a house near Monte Cassino monastery to confer on spiritual matters,
and were eventually buried together, probably in the same grave. Saint Gregory
says, "so death did not separate the bodies of these two, whose minds had
ever been united in the Lord." 

Saint Gregory tells the charming story of the last meeting of the two saints on
earth. 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
thetable, 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. He placed her body in the tomb he had prepared for
himself, and arranged for his own to be placed there after his death.

From the Dialogues of Saint Gregory the Great


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