“Life of St. Benedict” by St. Gregory the Great

Brother and Sister

His twin sister Scholastica, who was consecrated to God from her very childhood, used to come once a year to see him; unto whom the man of God was wont to go with his brethren to a house not far from the gate, within the possession of the Monastery.

On one occasion, his sister, entreated him saying: “I beseech you, leave me not this night, that we may talk until morning of the joys of the heavenly life.” To whom he answered: “What is this you say, sister? By no means can I stay out of my Monastery.” At this time the sky was serene, and not a cloud was to be seen in the air. The holy woman, therefore, hearing her brother’s refusal, clasped her hands together upon the table, bowed her head upon them and prayed to Almighty God, pouring forth a flood of tears. As she raised up her head from the table, there began such vehement lightning and thunder, with such abundance of rain, that neither venerable Benedict nor his Brethren were able to put foot out of doors.

Benedict was sad and began to complain, saying: “God Almighty forgive you, sister, what is this you have done?” To whom she made answer: “I prayed you to stay and you would not hear me; I prayed to Almighty God and He heard me! Now, therefore, if you can, go forth to the Monastery and leave me.” But he not able to go forth, was forced to stay against his will.

St. Gregory’s Comment: According to the saying of St. John: “God is charity,” and with good reason she was more powerful who loved more.

Epilogue

Scholastica departed this world at the age of 63, three days after that last meeting with her brother, who moved her body to the tomb he had prepared for himself, and followed her thirty nine days later.

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