Of this Saint but little is known on earth, save that she was the sister of the great patriarch St. Benedict, and that, under his direction, she founded and governed a numerous community near Monte Cassino.
Her brother was accustomed to visit her every year, for “she could not be sated or wearied with the words of grace which flowed from his lips.” On his last visit, after a day passed in spiritual converse, the Saint, knowing that her end was near, said, “My brother, leave me not, I pray you, this night, but discourse with me till dawn on the bliss of those who see God in heaven.” St. Benedict would not break his rule at the bidding of natural affection; and then the Saint bowed her head on her hands and prayed; and there arose a storm so violent that St. Benedict could not return to his monastery, and they passed the night in heavenly conversation.
Three days later St. Benedict saw in a vision the soul of his sister going up in the likeness of a dove into heaven. Then he gave thanks to God for the graces He had given her, and for the glory which had crowned them.
She died about the year 543.
St. Benedict, her spiritual daughters, and the monks sent by St. Benedict, mingled their tears and prayed, “Alas! alas! dearest mother, to whom dost thou leave us now? Pray for us to Jesus, to whom thou art gone.” They then devoutly celebrated Holy Mass, “commending her soul to God;” and her body was borne to Monte Cassino, and laid by her brother in the tomb he had prepared for himself. “And they bewailed her many days.”
Reflection. — Our relations must be loved in and for God. Otherwise the purest affection becomes inordinate, and is so much taken from Him.
Illustration and text from Pictorial Lives of the Saints With Reflections for Every Day in the Year (New York: Benziger Bros., 1922).