Quick quiz: Who was the first Benedictine nun, seen by her twin brother in a vision to have ascended into heaven in the form of a dove? Yep, you guessed it: St. Scholastica! It’s no surprise, then, that we Benedictine women have taken her to be our community patron.
So what does it mean to have a patron saint? Well, it’s true we have several statues and images of her in our monastery and her name is on our sign posted by the roadside, but these are just the externals. A patron saint is one who lived a life worthy of emulation, someone whom we wish to take as an example of virtue and profound dedication to God.
Since we know fairly few details of her life, what we do know takes on even greater import for us. St. Gregory the Great describes her as one who “loved much, and therefore was able to do much” (Dialogues, Book 2). She was a great lover, through whom God was able to do great things. Need we say more?