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Making Catholic Memories: Saint Scholastica

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This past May, we joined people across the Archdiocese on the longest U.S. Marian procession and pilgrimage. Stretching nearly 350 miles over 36 days, it touched thousands of lives.

On the final day, we prepared to walk the last two miles from Holy Cross-Immaculata to the Cathedral Basilica amid pouring rain and predictions of thunderstorms for the next four hours. A pilgrim approached the ambo with confidence to pray for Mary’s intercession. Just 15 minutes after leaving the church, the rain was completely gone! I will never forget watching the radar and seeing the storm move just a few miles south. Of course, that’s not the only time that prayer changed a weather pattern!

The saint we honor on February 10, St. Scholastica caused the opposite effect when she prayed for her brother to spend just a few more hours with her.

St. Scholastica and her brother, St. Benedict, grew up in 6th Century Italy. From a very young age, Scholastica gave herself entirely to God and remained close to her brother. Soon after Benedict started his now-famous monastery at Monte Cassino, Scholastica left home and founded a convent near his monastery, placing its governance under her brother’s guidance and rule.

The two met once a year halfway between their homes. On one occasion, St. Scholastica asked her brother and accompanying friars to stay overnight at their location, but St. Benedict’s rule did not allow them to spend the night away from the monastery. Refusing to take no for an answer, St. Scholastica turned to God in prayer, and He answered. A fierce thunderstorm blew up, keeping the friars shut in, and enabling the group to talk through the night until the men could leave early the next day. Just three days later, St. Benedict received a vision of his sister’s soul ascending into heaven after peacefully passing away.

Stories like these are almost too good to be true, capturing our imagination and giving us hope. Many times in my life I prayed and “knew” my request was too big, that there was no real way God would grant it, but I half-heartedly asked anyway. The truth we learn from St. Scholastica is that “nothing is impossible for God.” He CAN keep a storm from coming. He CAN make a storm pop up. He CAN cure us from our sickness. He CAN take away our pain. He doesn’t always do that, and His love for us and His plan for our salvation do not always reveal a miracle we can see. However, that should not keep us from turning to Him and asking for great things to happen in our lives. Let us, as parents, be witnesses to our children that our God is a powerful and awesome God who CAN.

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