Scholastica’s name is invoked to protect oneself against rainstorms and to help convulsive children (because if there’s one thing that children suffering from epilepsy need it’s the aid of a 6th century nun). So how did she earn the reputation of guarding against rainstorms? Did she ward one off to prevent a flood? Did she keep one from ruining a baseball game?
Well actually, she uh, summoned one to trap her brother in her monastery so they could continue a conversation they were having. Her brother, Saint Benedict, had an abbey about five miles away, and one day he came over to her nunnery for supper. They were having a dandy chat about some religious matter, but it was getting late and Benedict wanted to go home and get in some hardcore praying before bedtime. But Scholastica was enjoying their conversation so much that she begged him to stay, and when he said no, she prayed to God. The Almighty then supposedly summoned up a storm to trap Benedict for the night.
Now, we’re not theologians, but that seems like a pretty flimsy excuse to bust out a miracle. In fact, that doesn’t even sound like a miracle, unless being a jerk to your brother can be considered miraculous. And again, there’s a pretty bad double standard here. If you’re so boring that you need to put the fear of God into your own family so they’ll talk to you for an extended period of time you’re a saint, but lock one person in your house because you like them and you’re a “kidnapper.” Religion is so confusing!
Scholastica was kind of rude, but when it comes to being a really bad saint nobody has outdone Fiacre. He became famous in 7th century Ireland for being a skilled healer, but he attracted so many followers that he decided the whole “teach people how to save lives” thing was an annoyance. So he moved to France, and when he arrived he asked the local bishop if he could have some land in the forest where he could live a life of solitude.
The bishop told him to go nuts, promising him as much land as he could trace out with a plough in a single day. Now, if you worked really hard that would earn you a fair chunk of dirt, but Fiacre took it to the next level, using his staff to miracle up some serious landscaping changes. The story goes that he just waved his staff at the ground and the dirt was upturned, even to the point where trees that got in the way were toppled. Because apparently God really hates trees.
Anyway, a woman saw him tearing up the land and got suspicious, so she told the bishop that it might be witchcraft. The bishop declared it to be the work of God instead, and Fiacre responded to this little misunderstanding by banning her from the monastery he built on his new, questionably obtained land. And all other women, forever. Oh, and they were threatened with severe bodily infirmity if they disobeyed. That’s a bit of an overreaction, don’t you think? Nobody likes being accused of witchcraft, but taking it out on half of the human race is awfully extreme. It’s no wonder Fiacre is the patron saint of, uh, taxi drivers. We would have guessed he was the patron of “no girls allowed” clubs.
- - Saint Denis: http://www.geeksonwheels.net/B-%20St%20Denis.jpg_s.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/16/St_Denis%27_Martyrdom.JPG/800px-St_Denis%27_Martyrdom.JPG
- - Saint Simeon Stylites: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Simeon_Stylite_Louvre.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:W.E.F._Britten_-_Alfred,_Lord_Tennyson_-_St._Simeon_Stylites.jpg
- - Saint Scholastica: http://saints.sqpn.com/wp-content/gallery/saint-scholastica/saint-scholastica-01.jpg http://communio.stblogs.org/St%20Scholastica.jpg
- - Saint Fiacre: http://listverse.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/450px-saint-fiacre-mural-seville.jpg http://www.cukierski.net/st.fiacre.jpg