Wednesday, February 10, 2010

St. Scholastica (480 to 543)

When I said I was going to have a dove (which I call the Holy Ghost) tattooed on my lower back 11 years ago, I was told by friends and family that knew about it that it was a foolish and careless thing to do. These are the same people who many years before that, said if I travelled throughout central Italy, alone, I would not live to tell about it.
Being the adventurous, free spirit that I am, I did both things and unknowingly honored St. Scholastica, whose feast day is today (February 10).
She was born the twin sister to St. Benedict in Nursia, Italy in 480. When St. Benedict started his monastery at Monte Cassino (which I visited in central Italy), St. Scholastica moved to nearby Plombariola and founded a community of women. She is thought to be the first Benedictine nun.
St. Scholastica visited St. Benedict once a year although she was not allowed at the monastery. So, they met at a farmhouse. They would talk about spirituality and on what would be the final visit between the two, she asked her brother to stay a little longer. He said he couldn't because of monastery rules. St. Scholastic prayed and a thunderstorm occurred that kept St. Benedict from leaving the house.
He scolded her for doing such a thing and she replied that after he said he couldn't stay, she prayed to God and the storm came. The siblings then talked until early morning. Three days later, in 543, St. Scholastica died. At that very moment, St. Benedict saw her image and her soul turned into a dove and flew to Heaven. He had her body brought to Monte Cassino and buried in the tomb that was originally made for him.
St. Scholastica's relics are in a silver shrine in St. Peter's Church in Le Mans, France. She is considered the patron saint of Monte Cassino and thunderstorms.
I like to think that my Holy Ghost tattoo represents her pure soul.

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