Sub-Saharan Africa, 10 February, 2024 / 11:15 am (ACI Africa).
On Feb. 10, the Catholic Church remembers St. Scholastica, a nun who was the twin sister of St. Benedict, the "father of monasticism" in Western Europe.
The siblings were born around 480 to a Roman noble family in Nursia, Italy. Scholastica seems to have devoted herself to God from her earliest youth, as the account of Benedict's life by Pope Gregory the Great mentions that his sister was "dedicated from her infancy to Our Lord."
The twins' mother died at their birth. When Benedict was old enough he left home to study in Rome leaving Scholastica with her father to tend the Nursian estate. In time, Benedict left his studies to live first as a hermit, and then as the head of a community of monks in Italy.
When Scholastica learned of her brother's total dedication to the Lord, she was determined to follow his example. It is not certain that she became a nun immediately, but it is generally supposed that she lived for some time in a community of pious virgins. Some biographers believe she eventually founded a monastery of nuns there.
The brother and sister communities were about five miles apart. St. Benedict seems to have directed his sister and her nuns, most likely in the practice of the same rule by which his own monks lived.