When I was born, my parents had lost their first daughter during childbirth, so my father in odd thanksgiving wanted to name me Scholastica, hoping I would become a nun one day. Probably some convoluted bargain with God, knowing my father.

So I know a bit about this saint, after having to attend religious education every Wednesday after flunking out of Catholic school in second grade. With stories from my grandmother and the nuns and my father, I learned she had been a twin to St. Benedict.

This was, in my opinion at 8 years old, the coolest thing about her. Twins run in our family; I had identical twin girl cousins who looked like blonde half-Italian angels that I babysat.

My mother carried twin sons at one point, but lost them both before birth, before baptism. She talked about them so much they seemed a part of the family, even though they were in Limbo or Baby Heaven, could never remember which place was what. There is no official record, but she told me she calls them Paul and Anthony when she prays.

So according to Wikipedia, Scholastica was born c. 480 AD, died February 10, 547 AD. Her attributes are listed as: nun with crozier and crucifix; nun with dove flying from her mouth. She is the patron saint of: convulsive children; nuns; invoked against storms and rain.

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. According to Gregory's Dialogues, 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.

Her twin, St. Benedict died March 21, 547 AD, and was buried in the same vault as his sister. When my father was dying, I thanked him for NOT naming me Scholastica and he said, "You have your mother to thank for that. You could have been a nun, but it's too late now."

sources other than Wikipedia:

  • Saints.SQPN.com
  • fisheaters.com/saintsart.html
  • American CATHOLIC.org

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