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Saint Scholastica

Saint Scholastica, Feast Day on February 10

Scholastica, whose feast day is February 10, is the patron saint of the Benedictine nuns, education, and convulsive children, and her intercession asks against storms and rain.

The Church of England and the Episcopal Church honor her on their calendars every February 10.

Saint Scholastica, the Virgin, brother of Saint Benedict, is the founder of the Benedictine nuns.  She lived between 480 and 543 and was a native of Nursia (Italy) of rich parents Eupropius and Claudia, who passed away after giving birth.

St. Gregory the Great attributed some references to the life of Scholastica in his 6th-century Dialogues. He described her as living a life of spiritual depth and devoting herself to God from a young age until her departure from the world.

Called the first Benedictine nun, Scholastica remained in her family, while her brother Benedict was the first to retire to a hermitage.

Soon, she sought her father's permission to dedicate herself to religious life, driven by her lack of attraction to earthly goods or the world.

She first entered a monastery near Nursia, then moved to Subiaco to follow her brother Benedict, who had established the Abbey of Montecassino.

About seven kilometers away, Scholastica founded the monastery of Piumarola.  This is where, together with the other consecrated sisters, she followed the Rule of St. Benedict, thereby giving birth to the female branch of the Benedictine Order.

 Scholastica used to suggest observing the rule of silence and avoiding interactions with people outside the monastery. 

So once a year, she would go and visit her brother at a place near his monastery and they would spend the day praying together and talking about sacred texts, psalms and spiritual concerns.

One time, when Scholastica was sick, her brother visited her and, after dinner, told her it was time to go, as he was also in strict observance of the rule for limited interactions.

Sensing that she wouldn’t live long, she asked him to stay with her for the evening so they could continue their spiritual conversation and prayers, but Benedict refused and insisted he had to go back to his cell.

What Scholastica did was close her hands in prayer and this was followed by thunder, lightning and rain that caused Benedict’s leaving the guest house to be put off so they were able to continue their conversation.

When Benedict asked what she had done, Scholastica said he asked God for a favor instead, who was more generous.  "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."

After three days in his room, he saw his sister's soul leaving the earth and going up to heaven in the form of a shining white dove and interpreted it to be her passing on.

Artists often depicted her as an abbess, wearing a Benedictine habit, and holding the Rule of Saint Benedict with either an ascending dove or a crucifix.

Benedict had her remains brought to his abbey and had them laid in the tomb, which he had prepared for himself.

St. Scholastica’s standout virtues were her simplicity, faith and prayer, work, study and community.  She inculcated this also in her sisters as the Benedictine’s aim:  "That in all things God may be glorified.”

The Benedictine motto of ora et labora (pray and work) has been Scholastica’s practice since she was a child. This turned out to be effective in remembering God despite my busy role as an abbess.

Pope Gregory said that although it was Benedict who laid out a rule of life for the sisters, it was Scholastica who helped, such that it is lived up to faithfully, happily and seen as a very good way for sanctification.  


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.