Me and St. Scholastica, Scholastica and Me
Happy Feast of St. Scholastica, everyone! Along with Francis, Clare, and Anthony of Padua, Scholastica is one of my most talked-about Saints….almost to the point where many people get ‘weirded out’ by my enthusiasm. Many young men have been scared away when I’ve mentioned that if I ever have kids, I would like to name my daughter after St. Scholastica…I’m still trying to come up with a nickname that will roll off the tongue a bit more easily.
Since mourning doves are common in Virginia, my friends and family have heard me retell the legend of St. Scholastica’s death (her soul went up to heaven in the form of a dove) way too many times. When I came across an icon of St. Scholastica in a religious bookstore, I expressed my enthusiasm way too loudly…all the customers gave me that ‘is she crazy?’ glare. I finally gave up looking on Scholastica holy cards, so last year I resorted to making my own, much to the amusement of the local “Kinkos” staff.
Sure, most people have never heard of St. Scholastica before and images of her are not as ubiquitous as St. Therese, St. Francis, and St. Anthony…but even the aforementioned social embarrassments haven’t squelched my devotion to this Saint. Similarly, I think that everyone has some sort of quirky devotion…even though it might not be to a Saint. I know a lady who travels the country and lovingly collects matchbooks to display on her walls. One of my high school friends avidly played Frisbee. Another friend was convinced that Karl Malden was attractive and couldn’t be convinced otherwise. Even Sebastian Flyte of “Brideshead Revisited” had his Aloysius. And don’t even try telling my brother that Europop and Scandinavian progressive metal is uncool.
I’ll admit that Frisbee conjures up images of the 1970s and I think that Europop is over the top campy, but no amount of rhetoric, embarrassment, or obscurity can tear these people away from their beloved hobbies, interests, and quirks. The Catholic geek in me can’t be stopped either. But all this shows how God loves us, just as we love our off-the-wall quirks. Despite how dorky, obscure, “crazy,” and sometimes sinful we humans can be, God loves us in spite of it all. Nothing can stop God from loving us despite our weaknesses…and not even death could tear away His love for us. It is because of this that the Saints point us toward God…whether they are as well-known as St. Francis and St. Bernadette, or more obscure like St. Blandina or my St. Scholastica.
So have yourself a happy St. Scholastica Day and please don’t get “weirded out” if you hear me talking about this awesome Saint!
A few of my past “Scholastica” posts: