The Catholic Defender: The Saint Scholastica Story
Born in 480 of wealthy parents, Scholastica and Benedict were brought up together until he left central Italy for Rome to continue his studies.
The Scripture teaches that if you train a child in the way of righteousness, they would never depart from it. Today, this is challenged like never before. In America today about one in ten Americans are classified statistically as "fallen away" Catholics. Something seems to have gone wrong the past few decades, parents are not as a whole handing on the faith to their children.
Twins often share the same interests and ideas with an equal intensity. Therefore, it is no surprise that Scholastica and her twin brother, Benedict, established religious communities within a few miles from each other.
The attack on the family has had a profound impact on faith. When Mom and dad are living the faith together as a family bond, their children holds fast to the faith more than 90% of the time. When everything falls on Mom because dad is out of the picture, children holding on to the faith drastically is reduced to between 10 to 30%.
Our problem today does not seem to have been a problem for Anicius Eupropius and his wife, Claudia Abondantia Reguardati. They were wealthy nobles living in Italy (Nursia Unbria), yet would be the parents of two recognized Saints, St Benedict was the twin brother of St Scholastica.
St. Scholastica was from a very young age strong in her Catholic faith. She wanted to live a life much like Sts Agatha and Lucy as she heard the heroic tales of their faith. 480 A.D. was a time when most young girls, especially from wealthy homes, were literate, well learned, often given in marriage, could own properties, and even divorce. That was not St. Scholastica.
St. Scholastica preferred to live within a community, which began at her father's house where other pious women joined her in forming a religious community. They desired to live a Catholic spirituality that would bring them closer to Jesus. Living in a hermitage, St. Scholastica dedicated her whole life for God. What a great testimony this is of Anicius Eupropius and his wife! It is reported that St. Scholastica's religious group would stay with her father until he died. He is a blessed man!
Later, St. Scholastica would move to Piumarola near Monte Cassino establishing the first known "Benedicting" convent. Being the twin sister of her Brother, St. Benedict, that would be true as both were very close, another great example coming from the Parents.
Today, it would be easy to keep up with family even when separated by thousands of miles. Cell phones, internet, planes, automobiles, makes opportunity much easier to keep up with family, friends, and associates. In 480 A.D. that was not available.
Every year, St. Scholastica would meet with her Brother, St. Benedict to pray together, discuss things religious, and catch up with their plans. One such day after supper they continued talking about their prayer when St. Benedict felt it was time to go back to his abbey according to his rule. This particular time, St. Scholastica requested that her Brother spend the night with her. He was still wanting to head for the abbey when St. Scholastica simply closed her hands in prayer when all of a sudden an abrupt storm came causing flooding and heavy rain.
The wild storm's abruptness caused St. Benedict to look at his sister asking, "What have you done"? Smiling, St. Scholastica responded, " I asked you and you would not listen, so I asked the Lord Jesus and He did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery."
With the continued down pour, St. Benedict was unable to leave, thus they continued to spend the night discussing the faith.
Three days later, from his cell, St. Benedict saw his sisters soul leaving earth and ascending to heaven in the form of a shining white dove. St. Scholastica lived such a holy life. Her body was brought to the abbey where her body was placed in St. Benedict's tomb that had been prepared for him.
As parents, what a great thing it is when our children accept the truths of the Catholic faith, and live it. St. Scolastica would be honored by St. Pope Gregory the Great who writes of her in his writing, "Dialogues of Gregory the Great."
Hebrews 12:1 tells us that we are surrounded by the Host of Heaven, a great cloud of witnesses marked with the sign of faith before us. St. Scholastica and her Brother, St. Benedict both enjoys for all eternity Heaven where they pray for us. St. Scholastica is the Patronage of schools, tests, books, reading, convulsive children, nuns, and invoked against storms and rain. Her Feast day is February 10.