Today we celebrate the memory of Saint Scholastica, the sister—some say the twin sister —of the great Saint Benedict. They were born about the year 470 and died about 520. They were both drawn to the monastic life, even though it was not as well organized in the west (they were both in Italy) as in the east. However, that would soon be remedied. Benedict left Rome and went along the main road from Rome down to Naples, turning up into the hills at what is now called Casino. There he established a monastery for himself and a group of monks, and his sister, Scholastica, had a convent for herself and her nuns nearby. Here Benedict wrote his famous Rule which has served as the basis for Benedictine life ever since, as well as a model for other religious rules outside the Benedictine family of nuns and monks. The influence of that Rule has been incalculable; it is probably the most important document in all of Christianity apart from the Scriptures themselves.
It is coincidental that today, as we celebrate Saint Scholastica and, by extension, her brother Saint Benedict, we also read in our liturgy of the visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon in the Old Testament. Both men were very wise; both women sought their wisdom and holiness and profited by them. Solomon and the Queen of Sheba lived about 1000 years before Our Lord. Benedict and Scholastica lived about 500 years after his life on earth. We are dealing with great expanses of time in which sacred history was made and in which God dealt with his people by means of his saints—the holy men and women of the old testament as well as the new.
Let us be grateful to God for these many centuries of his loving dealings with the human race; let us be especially grateful to Our Lord Jesus Christ for his incarnation, his Church, his sacraments, the glorious history of religious life, and the vocations to it of those who have received that calling and the grace by which they responded to it. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.