While there are numerous stories of saints who were friends and co-workers, there are very few about saints who were siblings, a relationship many children would better understand. The famous St. Benedict had an equally saintly sister, Scholastica, who may have been his twin. Raised in central Italy in a distinguished family, they both rejected lives of luxury to become monastic.
Unlike her brother, the facts of Scholastica’s adult life are few. However, one story remains that shows children that siblings can share a common spirituality. (Even as it demonstrates that even a saint may know how to trick a sibling!)
Scholastica waited for her twin’s visit. She remembered sharing her childhood with Benedict. When they grew up, Scholastica became a nun and Benedict a monk. Both worked hard each day because they were the heads of their monasteries and because they were doing work God wanted them to do.
But once a year they met. They talked, ate and prayed together. Once a year they could be sister and brother again, like when they were little. Yet often, they talked about loving God.
Scholastica saw Benedict coming down the road. She smiled, for she had so much to tell him! Benedict looked old now, she noted. Well, she did too. They were old! Scholastica had a feeling she would die soon. This might be the last time on earth that they talked together.
It was a good evening. Benedict was happy, though he also wondered if they would have another visit next year.
They talked and laughed. They ate and prayed. Then they talked some more.
It got late. Benedict stood up to go.
“Don’t go! Stay longer!” Scholastica pleaded.
“I can’t. You know that! I am the one that made the rule for monks about staying overnight! I can’t break my own rule!” Benedict said.
Brother and sister looked at each other. Then Scholastica bowed her head and prayed. Benedict waited to say goodbye, but she continued to pray.
And then he heard thunder. More thunder. Lightning streaked the sky. The wind picked up, and rain pelted down. It was much too bad a storm for Benedict to leave now.
He knew what his twin had prayed. “What have you done?” Benedict asked. “May God forgive you!”
Scholastica looked at her brother and said, “I asked a favor of you and you said no. I asked the favor of God. He was willing to listen to me.”
So Benedict sat back down.
For other stories like this see A CIRCLE OF SAINTS at https://anneneuberger.com/product/a-circle-of-saints-stories-and-activities-for-children/