Feast Day : February 10
Patronage: convulsive children; against storms
Very little is known about Scholastica, save for a few comments by Pope St. Gregory I (Gregory the Great, r. 590–604) in Dialogues, in which he records events of St. Benedict’s life. In early youth, she consecrated her life to God. After Benedict established his monastery at Monte Cassino, Italy, she moved to nearby Plombariola, where she founded and governed a monastery of nuns. Benedict directed his sister and her nuns. Scholastica visited her brother once a year, and stayed in a house separate from the monastery, which she was not allowed to enter. Benedict and several of his brothers would meet her there and spend the day discussing spiritual matters. The best-known story about Scholastica took place in 543 on one of these visits. Toward evening, Benedict prepared for his return to the monastery. Scholastica begged him to stay the night, but Benedict replied, “By no means can I stay out of my monastery.” Scholastica bowed her head and prayed. When she raised her head, there was a sudden and dramatic shift in the weather. The sky had been clear and serene; now lightning flashed and thunder boomed. A heavy rainfall commenced Benedict was not pleased, and said, “God Almighty forgive you, sister. What is this you have done?” Scholastica said, “I prayed you to stay and you would not hear me. I prayed to Almighty God and he heard me. Now, therefore, if you can, go forth to the monastery and leave me.” Benedict and his brothers were forced to spend the night. They continued their discussions. Benedict and his party left in the morning, never to see Scholastica again. She died three days later. Benedict beheld her soul in a vision as it ascended into heaven. He had her body brought to his monastery and laid it in the tomb he had prepared for himself. He died within the year and, as requested, was laid to rest with his sister.