A Prayer in Honor of Saint Scholastica

To Imitate Her Virtues

Saints John the Evangelist, Scholastica and Benedict (The Liesborn Altarpiece), ca. 1470-1480. Artist: Master of Liesborn (15th century)
St. John the Evangelist, St. Scholastica and St. Benedict (l-r) on the Liesborn Altarpiece, ca. 1470-1480. Heritage Images/Getty Images / Getty Images

In this short prayer in honor of Saint Scholastica, the sister of Saint Benedict of Nursia, patron saint of Europe, we ask God to grant us the grace to live our lives in imitation of Saint Scholastica's virtues.

A Prayer in Honor of Saint Scholastica

O God, to show us where innocence leads, you made the soul of your virgin Saint Scholastica soar to heaven like a dove in flight. Grant through her merits and her prayers that we may so live in innocence as to attain to joys everlasting. This we ask through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.

An Explanation of the Prayer in Honor of Saint Scholastica

Not much is known about Saint Scholastica, except in relation to her famous brother, Saint Benedict. Tradition tells us that Saint Scholastica and Saint Benedict were twins, born in 480. Just as Saint Benedict is regarded as the father of Western monasticism, his twin sister is viewed as the founder of female monasticism, in the form of convents, which is why she is regarded as the patron saint of nuns. Her "innocence," mentioned in the prayer above, comes from being dedicated to God at a very young age, and then living in community with other female religious.

Saint Scholastica's Last Visit to Saint Benedict

When the prayer speaks of the soul of Saint Scholastica "soar[ing] to heaven like a dove in flight," it is referring to Saint Gregory the Great's account of Saint Scholastica's last visit with her brother and her death three days later.

Saint Scholastica's convent was about five miles away from Monte Cassino, where Saint Benedict had built his monastery. Once each year, Scholastica would travel to Monte Cassino, where Benedict would meet her in a building owned by the monastery but outside of the monastery walls. The day of their final visit was beautiful, with not a cloud in the sky.

As night fell, Saint Benedict prepared to return to his monastery, but Saint Scholastica wanted him to stay. When he told her that he could not, she bowed her head in prayer, and suddenly a storm descended on the building, with torrential rain, thunder, and lightning. Unable to return to the monastery because of the weather, Benedict spent the night in conversation with his sister, not knowing that it would be their last time together.

Saint Scholastica's Death and Burial

Three days after Scholastica had returned to her convent and Benedict to his monastery, Saint Benedict was looking out of the window of his room and saw a dove, which he immediately realized was the soul of his sister ascending to Heaven. Benedict sent some of the monks to her convent to retrieve her body, where they did, indeed, find that she had passed away. The monks brought Saint Scholastica's body to Monte Cassino, where Saint Benedict buried her in the grave that he had set aside for himself. Saint Scholastica's feast day is February 10.

Definitions of Words Used in the Prayer in Honor of Saint Scholastica

Merits: good deeds or virtuous actions that are pleasing in God's sight

Attain: to reach or gain something

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Richert, Scott P. "A Prayer in Honor of Saint Scholastica." ThoughtCo, Feb. 20, 2017, thoughtco.com/a-prayer-in-honor-of-saint-scholastica-for-virtue-542708. Richert, Scott P. (2017, February 20). A Prayer in Honor of Saint Scholastica. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/a-prayer-in-honor-of-saint-scholastica-for-virtue-542708 Richert, Scott P. "A Prayer in Honor of Saint Scholastica." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/a-prayer-in-honor-of-saint-scholastica-for-virtue-542708 (accessed December 13, 2017).