St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Friday, February 10, 2006

Feast of St. Scholastica

One of my favorite books is: The Privilege of Being a Woman, by Dr. Alice von Hildebrand. I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Hildebrand speak several years ago at Catholic Familyland in Bloomingdale, Ohio at the Totus Tuus conference. It was very memorable.

Among several stories pertaining to women contained in Dr. Hildebrand's book, there is also included a brief but moving story about St. Scholastica. I was delighted to come across this as Saints Scholastica and Benedict, who were twin siblings, both religious, have always held a special place in my heart and devotions.

The deep and beautiful spiritual friendship they enjoyed and this story of St. Scholastica's holy tears of love for her brother, is described in this story as retold by Dr. Hildebrand:

"......Let us recall the touching episode of the last visit that Saint Benedict had with his holy sister. According to the rule, they could see each other only once a year. Their joy was to talk about God and sing His praise together. She begged her brother to prolong his holy colloquy, but he sternly refused: the rule ordered him to spend the night in his monastery. His gentle sister started praying, shielding with her hands the flood of tears streaming from her eyes. The sky which had been radiantly serene, suddenly became dark and threatening, and a fierce downpour accompanied by lightning and thunder forced Saint Benedict to remain for the night. This episode is related by Saint Gregory, and the Liturgy concludes this moving scene by stating "plus potuit, quia plus amavit" "having the stronger love, she had the stronger power."

Three days later St. Scholastica died and her dear brother witnessed, from his cell, her soul leave her body in the form of a dove which flew upward to the heavens.

"Christ's love for Saint Scholastica and her love for him spilled over into a lively and determined love for her brother, Saint Benedict. Her love gave her prayer a power that startled even that holy man." Magnifcat, Vol 7, No 13

Prayer: O God, to show us where innocence leads, you made the soul of your virgin Saint Scholastica soar to heaven like a dove in flight. Grant through her merits and her prayers that we may so live in innocence as to attain to joys everlasting. This we ask through our Lord.

There is a wonderful children's book by Kathleen Norris and Tomie de Paola, beautifully illustrated about Saints Benedict and Scholastica called:
The Holy Twins.

"The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience, which comes naturally to those who cherish Christ above all."
St. Benedict (Rule of St. Benedict 5:1-2)

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