'What are you saying, sister, I cannot stay away from the monastery.'
When Saint Scholastica lifted her head, a violent thunder was heard after a lightning crossed the skies. Heaven heard Saint Scholastica's prayer, and it cried torrential rains, after she placed her clasped hands on the table and bowed her head.
Saint Benedict cried, 'God, forgive you, sister. What have you done?'
Loved by God
Saint Scholastica and her fraternal twin brother, Saint Benedict, are the children of a wealthy couple, Anicius Eupropius and Claudia Abondantia Reguardantia. They were born in the 9th century in Nursia, Umbria, Italy.
In a letter of Saint Scholastica to a new abbess, Mother Flavia, she mentioned it was her brother who named her Scholastica, from the Latin word scholasticus (orator).
In 525 Benedict founded a monastery on Monte Cassino. Scholastica followed her brother and established a convent at the base of the mountain. With a few women, they lived according to the rules of the Benedictine Order, too.
When both lived in cloistered walls, the twins shared their wisdom about God only once a month. Since women were not allowed to set foot in monasteries, they met in a designated place.
One day, in 543, the two met. Requested to stay longer, Benedict refused to break a monastery rule, he himself drafted.
Scholastica prayed hard. Dark heavy clouds covered the clear skies, flashes of lightning appeared, thunders rolled and torrents of rains fell. It was impossible for Benedict to leave and had to stay until dawn. The 'law of love had triumphed over the law of justice and discipline,' said Saint Gregory.
Three days after, Benedict, while praying alone in his room, had a vision of his 'sister's soul ascending to heaven as a dove.' He requested his brother monks to bring her body on Monte Cassino and laid it in the tomb he had prepared for himself. She was about 67 years old.
A few weeks later on March 21, 547, Benedict died and was buried beside her.
Patroness of good weather
The Philippines is one of the very few countries within 'global reach of death and destruction,' according to WorldAtlas.com. Because it lies in the Pacific Ring of Fire it is prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Because it is near the equator, every year approximately 20 tropical cyclones and storms visit the country. Sophie Brown of Time magazine wrote that 'the Philippines is the most storm exposed country on earth.'
A Christian country, Filipinos acknowledge God's dominion over the universe. Affirming the Creators' bountiful mercy, Filipinos pray to God to save the country from the ravages of storms.
The people can also pray to Saint Scholastica, the patroness of good weather. Her feast day is February 10.
'Blessed and Holy Saint Scholastica intercede for your people in this time of need. May your prayers go to the throne of God in order that we be delivered from harm that our lives and our houses protected, and our parishes and churches stand erect and ready to serve your people.
'Finally Saint Scholastica may your prayers deliver all those in danger, heal all those in illness and direct all those without shelter.
'Intercede for us great patroness and offer us the good weather for which we hope. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.'
Damo-Santiago is a former regional director of the Department of Education National Capital Region. She is currently a faculty member of Mater Redemptoris Collegium in Calauan, Laguna, and of Mater Redemptoris College in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija.