St Benedict and St Scholastica

St Benedict and St Scholastica were twins born in Umbia about the year 480. At the age of 20 Benedict went to live as a hermit in a cave, but so many people followed him that he was able to set up 12 monastic communities. In the year 529 with a handful of faithful monks he moved to Monte Cassino. This became the most famous monastery in Western Christendom. His monastic rule was so sensible that it became the basis for all subsequent western monasteries.

St Scholastica was as devoted to our Lord as her brother and since he founded a community of nuns as well as monks she was made an Abbess. According to Benedict’s own rules he and his sister were unable to enter each other’s convents so they would meet once a year in a house away from the monastery. They loved to pray together and talk about their love of Jesus.

In 543 Scholastica now ill, knew that she was soon to die. When her brother came for his annual visit she asked him to stay overnight that they might spend more time together before she died. This was against Benedict’s rules and he refused to stay. Scholatica appealed to a higher authority; she knelt in prayer and a great storm arose. Benedict was forced to stay the night, he upbraided his sister, but she just smiled and said “you refused my request when I asked you, but when I asked God He granted it.” 3 days later she died.

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