DYING SCHOLASTICA PRAYED UP A STORM TO KEEP ST. BENEDICT NEAR
BENEDICT OF NURSIA, founder of the Benedictines may have had a sister named Scholastica. Or maybe not. Some scholars thinks she was a fictional figure created by Gregory the Great, the first writer to mention her. He asserted that she had been dedicated to God from infancy and had become a nun, and he related one of his many unlikely miracle-stories about her.
According to Gregory, she used to visit Benedict once a year on a property belonging to his monastery. The most famous of those visits occurred when both were on the brink of death. Tradition says they met on this day, 7 February 543.
In Gregory’s account, they spent the entire day praising God. As darkness fell, they ate together. It was a clear night. As it grew late, Scholastica, sensing that her end was near, asked Benedict to remain with her that they might spend the night talking of heavenly delights.
Benedict refused, as his rules required that he and the brothers with him return to the monastery.
When Scholastica heard Benedict’s refusal, she put her hands together on the table and bent her head in her hands to pray. The moment she lifted her head from the table, a violent rainstorm began, accompanied by lightning and thunder. Benedict and the brothers could not set foot outside the door: “For the nun, as she bent her head in her hands, had poured forth rivers of tears onto the table.”
“May the almighty God forgive you, Sister. What have you done?” asked Benedict. To which Scholastica answered, “Look, I asked you and you refused to listen to me. I asked my Lord and He heard me. Go now, if you can. Leave me behind and return to your monastery.”
Return being impossible, Benedict remained with his sister that night in holy conversation. Three days later in a vision he saw her soul take flight to heaven.