Saint Scholastica from the San Luca Altarpiece
Nursia, Umbria, Italy
|Died||10 February 543|
near Monte Cassino
|Venerated in|| Catholic Church |
Eastern Orthodox Church
|Canonized||Pre-Congregation by St. Peter III|
|Attributes||nun with crozier and crucifix; nun with dove flying from her mouth Also patron Saint of book fairs.|
|Patronage||Patroness of Benedictine women's communities; school; tests; books; reading; convulsive children; nuns; invoked against storms and rain; Le Mans|
Scholastica (c. 480 – 10 February 543) is a saint of the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Anglican Communion. She was born in Italy. According to a ninth century tradition, she was the twin sister of Benedict of Nursia.Her feast day is 10 February, Saint Scholastica's Day. Scholastica was the foundress of the women's branch of Benedictine Monasticism.
According to the Dialogues of Gregory the Great, Scholastica was born c. 480 in Nursia, Umbria, of wealthy parents (Anicius Eupropius and his wife Claudia Abondantia Reguardati). While Gregory states that Scholastica was Benedict's sister, a later tradition says she was his twin (whether this is meant biologically or spiritually, or both is unclear). Gregory also says she was dedicated to God from a young age. She and her brother Benedict were brought up together until the time he left to pursue studies in Rome.
A young Roman woman of Scholastica's class and time would likely have remained in her father's house until marriage (likely arranged) or entry into religious life. But wealthy women could inherit property, divorce, and were generally literate. On occasion several young women would live together in a household and form a religious community.
Benedictine tradition holds that Scholastica established a hermitage about five miles from Monte Cassino and that this was the first "Benedictine" convent.However, it has been suggested that it is more likely that she lived in a hermitage with one or two other religious women in a cluster of houses at the base of Mount Cassino where there is an ancient church named after her (Monastero di Santa Scolastica). Ruth Clifford Engs notes that since Dialogues indicates that Scholastica was dedicated to God at an early age, perhaps she lived in her father's house with other religious women until his death and then moved nearer to Benedict.
The most commonly told story about her is that she would, once a year, go and visit her brother at a place near his abbey, and they would spend the day worshiping together and discussing sacred texts and issues.
One day they had supper and continued their conversation. When Benedict indicated it was time for him to leave, Scholastica, perhaps sensing that the time of her death was drawing near, asked him to stay with her for the evening so they could continue their discussions. Not wishing to break his own Rule, Benedict refused, insisting that he needed to return to his cell. At that point, Scholastica closed her hands in prayer, and after a moment, a wild storm started outside of the guest house in which they were staying. Benedict asked, "What have you done?", to which she replied, "I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can; leave me and return to your monastery." Benedict was unable to return to his monastery, and they spent the night in discussion.
Three days later, from his cell, he saw his sister's soul leaving the earth and ascending to heaven in the form of a shining white dove.Benedict had her body brought to his monastery, where he had it laid in the tomb which he had prepared for himself.
The Anglo-Saxon bishop and scholar Aldhelm recounts the story in both the De Laude Virginitatis, written for the nuns at Barking, and in the shorter Carmen de virginitate.
What is known of Scholastica derives from the Dialogues of Gregory the Great. Pearse A. Cusack argues that she is a literary invention on the part of Gregory to demonstrate that love supersedes law.Early calendars and place names in the area around Monte Cassino suggest that she did exist. Gregory names as his sources four of Benedict's contemporaries. A contemporary, Caesarius of Arles, wrote Regula virginum (Rule for Virgins), the first rule drawn up for women living in community, for his sister, Caesaria.
Scholastica is the foundress of the women's branch of Benedictine Monasticism.
She was selected as the main motif for a high value commemorative coin: the Austria €50 'The Christian Religious Orders', issued 13 March 2002. On the obverse (heads) side of the coin Scholastica is depicted alongside Benedict. In iconography, Scholastica is often represented as an abbess, in a black habit and holding a book or a dove.
Scholastica is the patron saint of nuns, education, and convulsive children, and is invoked against storms and rain. Her memorial is 10 February.
Saint Scholastica's Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Scholastica, is celebrated on February 10.Its symbol is the Christian cross. Saint Scholastica's Day bears importance in the monastic calendar as she is honoured as the patroness of Benedictine nuns. The Feast of St Scholastica is commemorated through Mass or a service of worship.
Benedict of Nursia is a Christian saint venerated in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Anglican Communion and Old Catholic Churches. He is a patron saint of Europe.
The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict, are a monastic religious order of the Catholic Church following the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are also sometimes called the Black Monks, in reference to the colour of their religious habits. They were founded by Saint Benedict of Nursia, a 6th-century monk who lay the foundations of Benedictine monasticism through the formulation of his Rule of Saint Benedict.
The Rule of Saint Benedict is a book of precepts written in 516 by Benedict of Nursia for monks living communally under the authority of an abbot.
Monte Cassino is a rocky hill about 130 kilometres (81 mi) southeast of Rome, in the Latin Valley, Italy, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) to the west of the town of Cassino and 520 m (1,706.04 ft) altitude. Site of the Roman town of Casinum, it is best known for its abbey, the first house of the Benedictine Order, having been established by Benedict of Nursia himself around 529. It was for the community of Monte Cassino that the Rule of Saint Benedict was composed.
A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monks or nuns, whether living in communities or alone (hermits). A monastery generally includes a place reserved for prayer which may be a chapel, church, or temple, and may also serve as an oratory, or in the case of communities anything from a single building housing only one senior and two or three junior monks or nuns, to vast complexes and estates housing tens or hundreds. A monastery complex typically comprises a number of buildings which include a church, dormitory, cloister, refectory, library, balneary and infirmary. Depending on the location, the monastic order and the occupation of its inhabitants, the complex may also include a wide range of buildings that facilitate self-sufficiency and service to the community. These may include a hospice, a school, and a range of agricultural and manufacturing buildings such as a barn, a forge, or a brewery.
Benedictine College is a private Benedictine liberal arts college in Atchison, Kansas. It was founded in 1971 by the merger of St. Benedict's College for men and Mount St. Scholastica College for women. It is located on bluffs overlooking the Missouri River, northwest of Kansas City, Missouri. Benedictine is one of a number of U.S. Benedictine colleges and is sponsored by St. Benedict's Abbey and Mount St. Scholastica Monastery. The abbey has a current population of 53 monks, while the Mount monastery numbers 147 community members. The college has built its core values around four "pillars" — Catholic, Benedictine, Liberal Arts, Residential — which support the Benedictine College mission to educate men and women in a community of faith and scholarship.
Christian monasticism is the devotional practice of individuals who live ascetic and typically cloistered lives that are dedicated to Christian worship. It began to develop early in the history of the Christian Church, modeled upon scriptural examples and ideals, including those in the Old Testament, but not mandated as an institution in the scriptures. It has come to be regulated by religious rules and, in modern times, the Canon law of the respective Christian denominations that have forms of monastic living. Those living the monastic life are known by the generic terms monks (men) and nuns (women). The word monk originated from the Greek μοναχός, itself from μόνος meaning 'alone'.
A double monastery is a monastery combining a separate community of monks and one of nuns, joined in one institution. More common in the monasticism of Eastern Christianity, where they are found since the 4th century, in the West the establishment of double monasteries became popular after Columbanus and were found in Anglo-Saxon England and Gaul. Double monasteries were forbidden by the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, though it took many years for the decree to be enforced. In a significantly different way, double monasteries were revived again after the 12th century, when a number of religious houses were established on this pattern, among Benedictines and possibly the Dominicans. The 14th-century Bridgittines were consciously founded using this form of community.
In Christian monasticism, an oblate is a person who is specifically dedicated to God or to God's service.
The Benedictine Confederation of the Order of Saint Benedict is the international governing body of the Order of Saint Benedict.
Saint Maurus, O.S.B., was the first disciple of Saint Benedict of Nursia (512–584). He is mentioned in Saint Gregory the Great's biography of the latter as the first oblate; offered to the monastery by his noble Roman parents as a young boy to be brought up in the monastic life.
Sister Joan D. Chittister, is an American Benedictine nun, theologian, author, and speaker. She has served as Benedictine prioress and Benedictine federation president, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women.
February 9 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - February 11
The Order of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the Conceptionists, are a contemplative religious order of nuns. For some years, they followed the Poor Clares Rule, but in 1511 were recognized as a separate Catholic religious order, taking a new Rule and the name of Order of Immaculate Conception.
There are a number of Benedictine Anglican religious orders, some of them using the name Order of St. Benedict (OSB). Just like their Roman Catholic counterparts, each abbey / priory / convent is independent of each other. The vows are not made to an order, but to a local incarnation of the order, hence each individual order is free to develop its own character and charism, yet each under a common rule of life after the precepts of St. Benedict. Most of the communities include a confraternity of oblates. The order consists of a number of independent communities:
Saint Berno of Cluny or Berno of Baume was the first abbot of Cluny from its foundation in 909 until he died in 927. He began the tradition of the Cluniac reforms which his successors spread across Europe.
The Subiaco Cassinese Congregation is an international union of Benedictine houses within the Benedictine Confederation. It developed from the Subiaco Congregation, which was formed in 1867 through the initiative of Dom Pietro Casaretto, O.S.B., as a reform of the way of life of monasteries of the Cassinese Congregation, formed in 1408, toward a stricter contemplative observance, and received final approval in 1872 by Pope Pius IX. After discussions between the two congregations at the start of the 21st century, approval was given by Pope Benedict XVI in 2013 for the incorporation of the Cassinese Congregation into its offshoot, the Subiaco Congregation. The expanded congregation was given this new name.
The Abbey of Saint Scholastica, also known as Subiaco Abbey, is located just outside the town of Subiaco in the Province of Rome, Region of Lazio, Italy; and is still an active Benedictine order, territorial abbey, first founded in the 6th century AD by Saint Benedict of Nursia. It was in one of the Subiaco caves that Benedict made his first hermitage. The monastery today gives its name to the Subiaco Congregation, a grouping of monasteries worldwide that makes up part of the Order of Saint Benedict.
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The Benedictines Sisters of Elk County were a religious congregation established in Marienstadt, Pennsylvania in 1852 by three sisters from St. Walburge Abbey in Bavaria. There they established St. Joseph Monastery, the first convent of Benedictine Sisters in North America. They opened a school for girls, St. Benedict Academy, and in 1933 expanded their apostolate into healthcare, becoming the owner and operator of Andrew Kaul Memorial Hospital in St. Marys.
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