Scholastica, Abbess of Plombariola

Scholastica was twin sister to St Benedict, born like him in Nursia, central Italy, around the year 480.

She also chose a religious life, and when Benedict founded his abbey at  Monte Cassino she settled at Plombariola nearby, and a nunnery grew up under his direction. The story is often told about how the twins would meet once a year to worship and study the scriptures together.

As abbess she sought to follow his Rule, and met him each year at a house near his monastery where they would praise God together and discuss spiritual matters.

One year at the end of the day, they had supper and continued their conversation. When Benedict indicated it was time for him to leave, she protested, and begged him to stay with her for the evening so they could continue their discussions. He refused, insisting that he needed to return to his cell. At that point, Scholastica closed her hands in prayer, and after a moment, a wild storm started outside of the guest house in which they were housed. Benedict asked, "What have you done?", to which she replied, "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." Benedict was unable to return to his monastery, and they spent the night in discussion. Three days later, from his cell, he saw his sister’s soul leaving the earth and ascending to heaven in the form of a shining white dove.


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