Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Holy Talk: Feast of St. Scholastica

Every year, on the Feast of St. Scholastica, we read a charming story at Morning Prayer about the last visit on earth that saintly twins Benedict and Scholastica experienced. The story from The Dialogues of St. Gregory tells of Scholastica's yearly visit to her brother's monastery.

He arrives with his companions to the gate, and the delightful visit takes place, with the siblings catching up on their separate but similar lives. When the time comes for him to return up the mountain, Scholastica begs him to stay the night so they can continue their holy talk. He, however, reprimands her, telling her to remember that he must return to his monastery.

Scholastica, not accepting his response, places her head in her hands and leans on the table
asking God in prayer to answer her request. Immediately upon her prayer, the sky opens up and rain pours in torrents. Benedict reprimands his sister but she simply replies that since he would not grant her wish, she prayed to God for help. No one was able to leave and they spent the night talking about spiritual matters.

In the morning, they return to their respective monasteries, but Gregory explains that this one time Benedict did not have his way, showing who had the greater love.

Three days later Benedict sees his sister's soul, in the form of a dove, flying up to heaven.

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