A joyfully Franciscan view of Catholic life, inspired by St. Clare (Santa Chiara) of Assisi!

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Chiara Offreduccio (St. Clare) was born in 1194. It is said that when her mother had Chiara in her womb, an angel appeared to her and said, "your child will be a light that will illuminate the world!" Hence, her mother named the child Chiara, which means "light. As G.K. Chesterton put it, St. Clare was a romantic figure just like Juliet was. However, instead of running away from her family in order to be with an earthly man, Clare gave up everything and ran away from her family for the love of her Savior!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Benedictine Blessings: The Feast of St. Scholastica!

BIG DAY FOR THE BLOG! Today is the day that the "Benedictine Blessings" has been counting down for!

Feb. 10 is the Feast Day of St. Scholastica, the founder of womens' Western monasticism. She happens to be my favorite woman Saint after Saint Clare, and also if God blesses me with a daughter some day when I get married, I'm going to name her Scholastica. Below is an excerpt taken from www.americancatholic.org:

St. Scholastica:
Twins often share the same interests and ideas with an equal intensity. Therefore, it is no surprise that Scholastica and her twin brother, Benedict, both established religious communities within a few miles from each other.

Born in 480 of wealthy parents, Scholastica and Benedict were brought up together until he left for Rome to continue his studies.

Little is known of Scholastica’s early life. She founded a religious community for women near Monte Cassino at Plombariola, five miles from where her brother governed a monastery.
The twins visited each other once a year in a farmhouse because Scholastica was not permitted inside the monastery. They spent these times discussing spiritual matters.

According to the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great, the brother and sister spent their last day together in prayer and conversation. Scholastica sensed her death was close at hand and she begged Benedict to stay with her until the next day.

He refused her request because he did not want to spend a night outside the monastery, thus breaking his own Rule. Scholastica asked God to let her brother remain and a severe thunderstorm broke out, preventing Benedict and his monks from returning to the abbey.
Benedict cried out, “God forgive you, Sister. What have you done?” Scholastica replied, “I asked a favor of you and you refused. I asked it of God and he granted it.”

Brother and sister parted the next morning after their long discussion. Three days later, Benedict was praying in his monastery and saw the soul of his sister rising heavenward in the form of a white dove. Benedict then announced the death of his sister to the monks and later buried her in the tomb he had prepared for himself.

Scholastica and Benedict gave themselves totally to God and gave top priority to deepening their friendship with him through prayer. They sacrificed some of the opportunities they would have had to be together as brother and sister in order better to fulfill their vocation to the religious life. In coming closer to Christ, however, they found they were also closer to each other. In joining a religious community, they did not forget or forsake their family but rather found more brothers and sisters.

“All religious are under an obligation, in accordance with the particular vocation of each, to work zealously and diligently for the building up and growth of the whole mystical body of Christ and for the good of the particular churches. It is their duty to foster these objectives primarily by means of prayer, works of penance, and by the example of their own lives” (Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops, 33, Austin Flannery translation).

So ladies, put on that little black dress today in honor of St. Scholastica and the Benedictines! Have a WONDERFUL St. Scholastica Day!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Chiara,

St. Scholastica has long been a favorite saint of mine, as well as my Mother. One problem, though, I haven't been able to find any devotional articles featuring this great saint, e.g. pictures, holy cards, etc. Would you happen to know where I might be able to find these items? Thanks in advance. May St. Scholastica protect you and yours! +U.I.O.G.D.+


4:54 PM  

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