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A famous story is told in the Dialogues of Saint Gregory the Great of the last visit of Benedict to Scholastica before her death. Well, the story used to be famous at least, when educated people living in the west had a firm formation in Church history. As part of his near-contemporary biography of Saint Benedict written in the late 6th century AD and included as part of the Dialogues, Pope Gregory recounts this charming tale as follows:
His sister, named Scholastica, was dedicated from her infancy to our Lord. Once a year she came to visit her brother. The man of God went to her not far from the gate of his monastery, at a place that belonged to the Abbey. It was there he would entertain her. Once upon a time she came to visit according to her custom, and her venerable brother with his monks went there to meet her.
They spent the whole day in the praises of God and spiritual talk, and when it was almost night, they dined together. As they were yet sitting at the table, talking of devout matters, it began to get dark. The holy Nun, his sister, entreated him to stay there all night that they might spend it in discoursing of the joys of heaven. By no persuasion, however, would he agree to that, saying that he might not by any means stay all night outside of his Abbey.
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At that time, the sky was so clear that no cloud was to be seen. The Nun, hearing this denial of her brother, joined her hands together, laid them on the table, bowed her head on her hands, and prayed to almighty God.
Lifting her head from the table, there fell suddenly such a tempest of lightning and thundering, and such abundance of rain, that neither venerable Benedict, nor his monks that were with him, could put their heads out of doors. The holy Nun, having rested her head on her hands, poured forth such a flood of tears on the table, that she transformed the clear air to a watery sky.
After the end of her devotions, that storm of rain followed; her prayer and the rain so met together, that as she lifted up her head from the table, the thunder began. So it was that in one and the very same instant that she lifted up her head, she brought down the rain.
The man of God, seeing that he could not, in the midst of such thunder and lightning and great abundance of rain return to his Abbey, began to be heavy and to complain to his sister, saying: "God forgive you, what have you done?"
She answered him, "I desired you to stay, and you would not hear me; I have desired it of our good Lord, and he has granted my petition. Therefore if you can now depart, in God's name return to your monastery, and leave me here alone."
But the good father, not being able to leave, tarried there against his will where before he would not have stayed willingly. By that means, they watched all night and with spiritual and heavenly talk mutually comforted one another.
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Artistic representations of this tale are fairly abundant. The one featured above is from Subiaco where both Benedict and Scholastica had monasteries. I have added the lightning flashes for effect, but nothing catches the viewer's attention so well as the mischievous smirk on Scholastica's face as she prays.
This anecdote it where Luise Rinser's outstanding novel, Leave If You Can, gets its title. The title is significant in that the events in the novel revolve around St. Benedict's ruined abbey of Monte Cassino during World War II and well describe the circumstance of the two young girls who are the main characters.