ST. SCHOLASTICA, VIRGIN, FOUNDER OF THE ORDER OF BENEDICTINE NUNS
Born in Italy, St. Scholastica (480-547) was the twin sister of St. Benedict of Nursia. Saint Gregory the Great, in his Dialogues, tells us that she was a nun and leader of a community for women at Plombariola, about five miles from Benedict’s abbey at Monte Cassino. Scholastica was dedicated to God from a young age. Following the rule of her brother, she founded the Order of Benedictine nuns.
Below you have the 2nd reading of today’s Divine Office.
+++2ND READING STARTS HERE+++
From the books of Dialogues by Saint Gregory the Great, pope
She who loved more could do more
Scholastica, the sister of Saint Benedict, had been consecrated to God from her earliest years. 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.
It is not surprising that she was more effective than he, since as John says, God is love, it was absolutely right that she could do more, as she loved more.
Three days later, Benedict was in his cell. Looking up to the sky, he saw his sister’s soul leave her body in the form of a dove, and fly up to the secret places of heaven. Rejoicing in her great glory, he thanked almighty God with hymns and words of praise. He then sent his brethren to bring her body to the monastery and lay it in the tomb he had prepared for himself.
Their minds had always been united in God; their bodies were to share a common grave.
℟. The holy virgin Scholastica prayed to God that her brother would not leave her;* she was able to obtain more than he did from the Lord of her heart, because her love was greater.
℣. How good and how pleasant it is when brother and sister live in unity;* she was able to obtain more than he did from the Lord of her heart, because her love was greater.
Let us pray.
Lord God, may we, like Saint Scholastica, serve you with an unsullied love. Then our joy will be full as we receive from your loving hand all that we desire and ask. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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