| By Candace Bryant-Lester

St. Scholastica

(480-543) | Feast: Feb. 10

Patron Saint of Benedictine Nuns

Brother and sister saints Benedict and Scholastica shared a deep faith. While Benedict is known as the father of monasticism with a detailed biography, not much is known about his twin sister Scholastica beyond what is written in her brother’s biography.

Though Benedict initially left Scholastica behind with their father to study in Rome, she eventually followed in her brother’s footsteps and entered religious life. Benedict founded the Abbey of Monte Cassino and she founded the monastery of Piumarola just a few miles away. At Scholastica’s monastery, Benedict’s Rule was followed, as was her own rule of silence which avoided conversation with anyone living outside the monastery.

Scholastica once said: “Either speak of God or keep silence, for, what in this world is so worthy of speech?” 

Scholastica loved speaking with her brother about God and spiritual matters, and the pair would meet once per year at a small house halfway between the two monasteries. It was here that their last meeting occurred and Scholastica begged Benedict to stay and continue their conversation. Her brother objected, stating it would break the Rule to spend the night outside of the monastery. Scholastica was persistent, however, and prayed to the Lord to not allow him to leave as she cried. Then, a random, violent storm appeared, which forced Benedict and his visiting monks to stay.

Three days later, Benedict knew of his sister’s passing when he saw her soul ascend to heaven in a vision.