Scholastica vs. Macrina the Younger

OF COURSE we finish up a full week of saintly action by ignoring the cultural phenomenon of St. Patrick’s Day. No green beer for us — we’re all purple all the time anyway. No, today in Lent Madness it’s Scholastica vs. Macrina the Younger with nary a shamrock in sight! This contest is chock-full of sibling rivalry as Scholastica was St. Benedict of Nursia’s twin sister while Macrina had a plethora of saintly siblings. Read on for details…

Yesterday Amelia Bloomer yanked down Phillipp Melanchthon by a wide margin of 74% to 26% to advance to the Saintly Sixteen.

As you prepare for a full 48 hours of saintly voting deprivation, we wanted to point out that you don’t have to wait until Monday morning to discover the results of this matchup. After the polls close in 24 hours, simply click on this post and scroll down to see the results. You can also click on the Bracket tab for all the current results.

We’ll see you bright and early on Monday for the Battle of the Consonants aka Name-a-Geddon as Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky faces Nikolaus von Zinzendorf. Now go vote!


Double the pleasure; double the fun! Born in fifth-century Italy, Scholastica was the twin sister of Benedict of Nursia, the founder of Benedictine monasticism. Stories report that from an early age, Scholastica was dedicated to God. As a daughter from a wealthy family, she received an excellent education.

Learned, devout, and authoritative, Scholastica is considered the founder of the female branch of Benedictine monasticism. The historical record is not entirely clear about whether she began a convent or merely lived in a hermitage with other female monastics at the base of Mount Cassino, where there is an ancient church named after her.

Pope Gregory records the most well-known story of Scholastica, showing her to be a twin to her visionary brother in every way. She was believed to visit Benedict annually, and they would spend the day in prayer and discussion. When the evening drew near on one such visit, Benedict announced he needed to return to his cell. Scholastica asked him to stay so they could continue talking. Not wishing to break his own rule, Benedict insisted upon returning to his cell. In response, Scholastica brought her hands together in an attitude of prayer. Almost instantly a fierce storm rose up outside. Benedict asked, “What have you done?” She replied, “I asked you, and you would not listen; so I asked my God, and he did listen.” Benedict was unable to return to his monastery, and the twins spent the night in discussion, as Scholastica requested.

Three days later, while looking out the window of his cell, Benedict saw his sister’s soul ascending to heaven. He sent for her body and laid it in a tomb that he he had prepared for himself. Scholastica’s death from natural causes was recorded in 543. Scholastica is petitioned during storms and is also the patron saint of female monastics and epileptic children. Her feast day is February 10.

Collect for Scholastica 
God, giver of wisdom and ruler of will, we thank you for the gift of our sister Scholastica, who spent a life devoted to family, prayer, and spiritual discipline. Grant us a portion of that same spirit of conviction and tenacity, so that when faced with difficult conversations or partings, we might also remember the true joy and peace that is found in serving you, through Jesus Christ our Lord who, with you and the Holy Spirit, reigns now and for ever. Amen.

— Amber Belldene

Macrina the Younger

Born around 327, Macrina was the eldest of nine (or ten) children and was named after her grandmother (Macrina the Elder) who endured persecution under the Romans. Her parents Basil the Elder and Emmelia of Caesarea must have known something about raising children—half of their offspring are remembered as saints—Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa (two of the three Cappadocian Fathers), Peter of Sebaste, Naucratius, and Macrina.

Macrina was betrothed to a young man who died shortly before their marriage. Upon his death, Macrina took a vow of chastity, considering herself already married to the young man and expecting to be reunited at the resurrection. After the death of her father, Macrina convinced her mother to take vows, and they both became nuns. Some time later, a tumor began to grow on Macrina’s breast. Her mother begged her to see a doctor to have the tumor removed. Macrina refused, asking her mother to make the sign of the cross on her chest. Her mother did this, and the tumor miraculously disappeared with a faint, cross-shaped scar taking its place.

Upon her mother’s death, with the help of her brother Peter, Macrina turned the family home into a monastery and convent. Living an ascetic life, she worked with her hands and lived simply with the other monastics. She gave herself to the study of scriptures and continued to offer counsel and inspiration to her better-known, younger brothers.

In 379, shortly after Basil died, a still-mourning Gregory came to visit Macrina and found her on her deathbed—a rough plank of wood with a smaller piece of wood for a pillow. So extreme was her poverty and asceticism that they could not find even a cloth to cover her. Although she neared death, she offered words of comfort to her brother and encouraged him to remember the promise of the resurrection. Their conversation inspired Gregory’s treatise, On the Soul and the Resurrection. Gregory also wrote a biography of his sister, The Life of Macrina.

Collect for Macrina the Younger 
Merciful God, you called your servant Macrina to reveal in her life and her teaching the riches of your grace and truth: May we, following her example, seek after your wisdom and live according to her way; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

— David Creech

Scholastica vs. Macrina the Younger

  • Scholastica (63%, 4,145 Votes)
  • Macrina the Younger (37%, 2,385 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,530

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Scholastica—Clarence Eugene Woodman; The Catholic Publication Society, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
Macrina the Younger—By Unknown Artist, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

230 Comments to "Scholastica vs. Macrina the Younger"

  1. Danielle Beauchamp's Gravatar Danielle Beauchamp
    March 17, 2017 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    I would have voted for Macrina the Elder, what an amazing mother!

    • Stephanie Bradbury's Gravatar Stephanie Bradbury
      March 17, 2017 - 9:52 am | Permalink

      I agree!

    • Sarah Pope's Gravatar Sarah Pope
      March 17, 2017 - 10:57 am | Permalink

      Macrina the Elder was the grandmother, but yes, an amazing family.

    • Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
      March 17, 2017 - 11:05 am | Permalink

      I’m surprised Macrina the Elder has never been given a spot in the bracket.

    • Jonna-Dawn Walker's Gravatar Jonna-Dawn Walker
      March 17, 2017 - 11:18 am | Permalink


      • Sandy Chambers's Gravatar Sandy Chambers
        March 17, 2017 - 11:36 am | Permalink

        Oh, my gosh. Forming an order of nuns that have done so much good for thousands over the years is a major use of God’s gifts to Scholastica. The Erie Benedictines and many other of the Benedictine orders in the USA, at least, are dedicated to peace and social justice.

      • Deacon Nancy Oliver's Gravatar Deacon Nancy Oliver
        March 17, 2017 - 5:36 pm | Permalink

        I agree- we had several bouts with amazing Saints facing off and now 2 that seem nothing and one will go on. I don’t like it.

        • James Lodwick's Gravatar James Lodwick
          March 17, 2017 - 6:05 pm | Permalink

          I’m sorry, but your comments seem superficial and uninformed.

          [Ed. note: Please be respectful in the comments section. There is no need to critique harshly others’ comments. Thank you.]

        • KD Burnett's Gravatar KD Burnett
          March 17, 2017 - 11:47 pm | Permalink

          Deacon Nancy Oliver, please do not be disheartened by the unkind reply to your post. God bless you!

    • Amy's Gravatar Amy
      March 20, 2017 - 11:38 pm | Permalink

      That’s who I voted for! Scholastica seemed a little selfish, asking God to intervene so here brother would have to spend more time with her.

  2. Sarah Rose (16 years old)'s Gravatar Sarah Rose (16 years old)
    March 17, 2017 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    I chose Macrina the Younger, because she helped her family, and she turned her home into a monistary. I just love how she had so much will power and determination, even though she was taking care of all her siblings.

    And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

    • Sarah Fox's Gravatar Sarah Fox
      March 17, 2017 - 11:14 am | Permalink

      I chose Macrina the Younger for the very same reasons. She surely had her hands full with those brothers whom I remember studying in seminary. And a Happy St. Patrick’s day to you! Sarah Fox (77 years old).

    • kesmarn's Gravatar kesmarn
      March 17, 2017 - 11:17 am | Permalink

      Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you too, Sarah Rose!

    • Robert's Gravatar Robert
      March 17, 2017 - 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, too! I think both saints are worthy of inclusion. Two women who “seem nothing”? I must disagree. Macrina for me.

  3. Ray's Gravatar Ray
    March 17, 2017 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Macrina the Younger… that was such a great dance craze!

    • March 17, 2017 - 8:33 am | Permalink

      Heeeeeyyyy, Macarina!

      • Ray's Gravatar Ray
        March 17, 2017 - 9:18 am | Permalink

        For those who read this comment, I now give you the miracle of the “Ear Worm”!

        • kesmarn's Gravatar kesmarn
          March 17, 2017 - 11:19 am | Permalink

          I wish the comments section had a “thumbs up” button.

      • David N.'s Gravatar David N.
        March 17, 2017 - 3:52 pm | Permalink

        If you were a physicist, it would be Heeeeeyyyy, Maldacena! Juan Maldacena of string theory and holographic principle fame wins today’s “Physics Madness” competition. See this website:

        • March 19, 2017 - 8:20 am | Permalink

          David, I went to the website and read the interview with Juan Maldacena. Thank you for sending it. In my old parish the priest started talking about string theory during a sermon and almost immediately the white noise began in my head. I’m not dissing string theory or physics or anything, but I am not blessed with a scientific mind! I’m much better at dance crazes!

    • Ray P.'s Gravatar Ray P.
      March 17, 2017 - 9:37 am | Permalink

      Gee I with I thought of that. Great comment.

    • Doctorjan's Gravatar Doctorjan
      March 17, 2017 - 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Hysterically laughing.

  4. Andrea's Gravatar Andrea
    March 17, 2017 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    Machina kept faith evenin the state of total poverty…I give her my vote. They are both so worthy. Hard choice today.

  5. Andrea's Gravatar Andrea
    March 17, 2017 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Loop…can’t edit the post
    Machina….forgive me the spelling mistake (typo)!!

    • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
      March 17, 2017 - 8:28 am | Permalink

      Hey – Deus ex Machina! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

      • Meredith Penfield's Gravatar Meredith Penfield
        March 17, 2017 - 8:37 am | Permalink


  6. Andrea's Gravatar Andrea
    March 17, 2017 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Auto check did it!

  7. Mary Lou's Gravatar Mary Lou
    March 17, 2017 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    Neither of these ladies really excited me, but I had to vote for Macrina the Younger, who kept her faith even in the face of poverty and dedicated her family home as a monistary.

    • Kate's Gravatar Kate
      March 17, 2017 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. I was also unimpressed with Scholatica summoning God with the clap of her hands to call up a storm just to have her own way.

      • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
        March 17, 2017 - 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Ah, but nonetheless she persisted.

        • Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
          March 17, 2017 - 5:21 pm | Permalink

          Thumbs up!

  8. Thomas Stama's Gravatar Thomas Stama
    March 17, 2017 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    Women named Macrina in the Greek Orthodox Church use the nickname Margaret in English.

  9. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    March 17, 2017 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    For Scholastica and Macrina the Younger
    Tune: Nun danket alle Gott, Hymnal ’82, 397, Now Thank We All Our God

    Now thank we all our God
    For women of devotion.
    For two whose lives were giv’n
    So fully to the notion
    That love trumps all that tries
    To take away the joy
    Of serving, kindness, prayer
    Lived fully in each day.

    Scholastica was not
    A woman to be gainsaid.
    To speak of holy things
    Was joy that kept her heart fed.
    Her brother stuck to rules,
    But she was free to pray.
    God gave her what she asked,
    Their joy her heart allayed.

    Macrina, she survived
    A bunch of strong-willed siblings.
    A saint among those saints,
    She comforted and calmed them.
    Through grief she found her way
    To live a holy life.
    Her simple, austere style
    Can teach us still today.

    Dear God how can we choose
    Between such awesome women?
    Their strength and constancy
    Has us a challenge given.
    So thanks we offer you
    For strong, wise saints like these.
    They show us that your way
    Is what our world still needs.

    • Deb Norman's Gravatar Deb Norman
      March 17, 2017 - 8:40 am | Permalink

      This is wonderful. Your hymn inspired my first ever LM comment. Thanks for writing and sharing this little gem.

      • Robyn's Gravatar Robyn
        March 17, 2017 - 8:54 am | Permalink

        Ditto to Deb’s comment!

    • MARGERY Wilson's Gravatar MARGERY Wilson
      March 17, 2017 - 8:51 am | Permalink

      A fine new hymn! Great teaching tool. Thank you, Diana.

    • Sue G.'s Gravatar Sue G.
      March 17, 2017 - 8:51 am | Permalink

      Excellent hymn! Thank you

    • Emily Correll's Gravatar Emily Correll
      March 17, 2017 - 8:56 am | Permalink

      That’s going to be in my head all day. Luckily, it is a wonderful hymn tune.

      • Lisa's Gravatar Lisa
        March 17, 2017 - 10:13 am | Permalink

        Got to be better than Heeeyyyy, Macrina!

    • Carol's Gravatar Carol
      March 17, 2017 - 9:10 am | Permalink

      Whoever you are, I hope you belong to the Hymn Society of the US & Canada and that I will see you in Waterloo in July!

    • Betty's Gravatar Betty
      March 17, 2017 - 9:14 am | Permalink

      I love this. Thanks Diana. What permission do I need to have to use these words in a worship service?

      • Diana's Gravatar Diana
        March 17, 2017 - 9:39 am | Permalink

        You have my full permission. Have fun.

    • P!ATD crazy fan's Gravatar P!ATD crazy fan
      March 17, 2017 - 9:29 am | Permalink

      I smiled reading this, and I love this!

    • Marilyn's Gravatar Marilyn
      March 17, 2017 - 10:26 am | Permalink

      Wonderful! Thank you!

    • Chris R's Gravatar Chris R
      March 17, 2017 - 10:45 am | Permalink

      Wonderful words. I actually sang it aloud and it fit perfectly. Thank you!

    • Sarah Pope's Gravatar Sarah Pope
      March 17, 2017 - 10:59 am | Permalink

      Thank you! I will repeat this when earworm “Hay, Macarina” comes back.

    • A kid's Gravatar A kid
      March 17, 2017 - 11:02 am | Permalink


    • Rhonda's Gravatar Rhonda
      March 17, 2017 - 11:11 am | Permalink

      Wow! Diana, that’s amazing❤

    • Mary's Gravatar Mary
      March 17, 2017 - 11:20 am | Permalink

      Wonderful hymn! Thank you!

    • Diane's Gravatar Diane
      March 17, 2017 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Love your hymn, Diana. Thank you.

    • Linda Sylvester's Gravatar Linda Sylvester
      March 17, 2017 - 1:19 pm | Permalink

      a worthy hymn for two lovely saints. Thanks for sharing your gift with me!

    • Karen Mills's Gravatar Karen Mills
      March 17, 2017 - 1:28 pm | Permalink

      In addition to the fun of Lent Madness, we now have the pleasure of a LM Poet Laureate. Woo hoo! You go, Diana!

    • Linda's Gravatar Linda
      March 17, 2017 - 1:58 pm | Permalink

      I love it, but still can’t decide who gets my vote.

    • Heather's Gravatar Heather
      March 17, 2017 - 3:02 pm | Permalink

      With all of your “new” hymns, if you collected them we could sing, “WE sing some songS of the saints of God, patient and brave and true…”

      • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
        March 17, 2017 - 3:23 pm | Permalink

        I have been think that too. Maybe someone can talk the official publisher of Lent Madness to move forward and publish a collection of these lovely works if Diana for All Saints 2017.

    • Doris McLallen's Gravatar Doris McLallen
      March 17, 2017 - 4:26 pm | Permalink
    • Susan Fisher's Gravatar Susan Fisher
      March 17, 2017 - 7:03 pm | Permalink

      I never used to read comments, and now I read them, well, religiously, looking for inspired additions to the hymnody.

    • Nyc's Gravatar Nyc
      March 17, 2017 - 8:27 pm | Permalink

      You get my vote today.

  10. Walter Jaap's Gravatar Walter Jaap
    March 17, 2017 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    Another messy decision. Had to do random number, flip the coin

  11. Rita Griffith's Gravatar Rita Griffith
    March 17, 2017 - 8:33 am | Permalink

    I haven’t a clue who to vote for. Ascetism is not high on my list of virtues. A coin toss! And… Scholastica it is.

    • Rita Griffith's Gravatar Rita Griffith
      March 17, 2017 - 8:37 am | Permalink

      I know two or three women named Scholastica, too. All good.

      • March 17, 2017 - 10:49 am | Permalink

        I know a Benedictine nun named Scholastics who is a brilliant scholar with a wonderful sense of humour. She gets my vote

  12. Monica Irwin's Gravatar Monica Irwin
    March 17, 2017 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    For all the great Benedictines of Erie and the wonderful girls they educated–Scholastica!

    • Joyce A Gieza's Gravatar Joyce A Gieza
      March 17, 2017 - 10:24 am | Permalink

      I agree, Monica. Besides, I graduated St. Benedict Academy – who else could I vote for?

    • Andrea's Gravatar Andrea
      March 17, 2017 - 11:20 am | Permalink

      Yes! Had to vote Scholastica because I have a child with epilepsy, and people with seizure disorders need all the help they can get.

      • Amy Ernest's Gravatar Amy Ernest
        March 18, 2017 - 10:33 am | Permalink

        I was expecting to read that Macrina was invoked for breast cancer, given her miraculous cure, but apparently not!

  13. March 17, 2017 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    As a fraternal twin, I feel a connection to Scholastica and Benedict. My brother and I were born on August 28, which is the feast day of both Moses the Black and Augustine of Hippo.
    And speaking of feasts, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everybody!

  14. Gloria Ishida's Gravatar Gloria Ishida
    March 17, 2017 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    These are both kind of weird but had to vote. Scholastica got my vote, though.

  15. Mollie Douglas Turner+'s Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner+
    March 17, 2017 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    Diana has done it again! I love these hymn texts, lady!

    As to the vote, I’ve long been a fan of Marina, and pouted that her brothers have had almost all the glory for centuries. So I thought that’s where I’d go. But the blogs were too close to ensure that decision…and as a mother of twins–awesome ladies, both–I think I must go for Scholastica today, even though that storm thing is juuuussst a bit over the top.

    • Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
      March 17, 2017 - 11:07 am | Permalink

      The storm thing is indeed a little over the top, but so is the tumor cure. (And no, no pun involving the word “top” intended.) Both stories left me unwilling to suspend disbelief.

  16. Sofie's Gravatar Sofie
    March 17, 2017 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Scholastica, if not for her name alone (although I do want to say: Hey, Ma-acrina!). I love her combination of education and devotion, and because I grew up with a fear of thunderstorms, I could definitely invoke her if I become afraid. I also have a brother, and I smile at the way she handled the famous Benedict.

  17. Judy A's Gravatar Judy A
    March 17, 2017 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    Hooray for twins! Vote Scholastica.

  18. Susan Buchanan's Gravatar Susan Buchanan
    March 17, 2017 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    Had to go with Scholastica, having just met yesterday a young woman named for her. This young woman was a refugee and now a recent immigrant, and starts a job today. So- praying today for Scholastique, and voting for Scholastica.

    • Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
      March 17, 2017 - 10:53 am | Permalink

      I voted for Scholastica, too, and now will say prayers for Scholastique. May America welcome her with love and kindness, and may she know that is who we really are.

      • Heather Swearingen's Gravatar Heather Swearingen
        March 17, 2017 - 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Yes, praying for Scholastique. May her future be bright and beautiful and may America find it’s heart and soul again soon!

    • Linda Sylvester's Gravatar Linda Sylvester
      March 17, 2017 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Go Scholastique!

  19. John The Beard's Gravatar John The Beard
    March 17, 2017 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    HAd to vote for Macrina in hnor of all those in my family who suffered from breast cancer. I too would have liked to vote for her mother, who cured it! It would otherwise have been a very difficult choice and I might have opted for Scholastica.

    • kesmarn's Gravatar kesmarn
      March 17, 2017 - 11:26 am | Permalink

      I voted for Macrina for the same reason.

  20. Liz's Gravatar Liz
    March 17, 2017 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    As an elementary and Jr. High student, I loved ordering books from the Scholastic flyer that came to our classrooms monthly. Reading about Scholastica brought all those great feelings and memories back.

  21. Dutton in Madison, GA's Gravatar Dutton in Madison, GA
    March 17, 2017 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    Scholastica, for her influence on Benedictine spirituality. Also for the thunderstorm trick.

  22. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    March 17, 2017 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    Despite the extraordinary stories surrounding Macrina the Well-Connected, I went for Scholastica, whose contribution to the Benedictine tradition was enormous. She held up half the sky at Monte Cassino, and the fruits of her labors are spread abroad through many branches of Christendom.

  23. Audrey's Gravatar Audrey
    March 17, 2017 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    “so that when faced with difficult conversations” – these words in Scholastica’s collect, and her determination to continue the conversation with her brother, offer much needed support for when I have to have those difficult conversations in life. Scholastica it is.

  24. Regina's Gravatar Regina
    March 17, 2017 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    What Marcrina’s bio here leaves out is how deeply she influenced the thinking of her brother Gregory of Nyssa–she truly was a theologian in her own right, but, like many women in the ancient world, did not leave her own written text behind. Gregory considered her his teacher. His Life of Marcrina is worth reading–she is pretty hard core!

    • Linda Sylvester's Gravatar Linda Sylvester
      March 17, 2017 - 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Agreed! Macrina was an unsung hero whose voice is certainly heard in the BIG VOICES of her celebrated brothers. I’m not angry she’s not more celebrated or for that matter, had fewer choices available to her. On the contrary, she inspires me to do what I can with what I’ve got. Thank GOD that the early church had their thinking caps on and celebrated her!!
      I’m a Macrina girl every day, all the way!

    • Elizabeth Coombs's Gravatar Elizabeth Coombs
      March 17, 2017 - 3:12 pm | Permalink

      You can listen to a public domain recording if you have about an hour and 15 minutes:

  25. Emily's Gravatar Emily
    March 17, 2017 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Scholastic for the Benedictines and her two foul relationship,with her brother. Plus I love her name. I also admire Macrina’s deep devotion. More madness.

  26. March 17, 2017 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Both Scholastica and Macrina seem a bit selfish with their miracles: Scholastica using the power of prayer to force her brother to talk to her and Macrina heals herself. In the end, I chose Scholastica because I can see myself praying to her the next time I’m stuck in a storm. It’s like she’s a superheroine!

  27. March 17, 2017 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    Scholastica today for really no reason other than her name.

  28. March 17, 2017 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    I voted for Macrina. We’ve driven through Uniontown, PA many times over the past 50 years, where we’ve seen signs for Mt. Macrina Manor (where the elderly are cared for.) I always wondered who
    Saint Macrina was. Thanks to LENTEN MADNESS, I now know for a little about her.

  29. March 17, 2017 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    I loved the thunderstorm story and therefore went with Scholastica.

  30. Carolyn D. Mack's Gravatar Carolyn D. Mack
    March 17, 2017 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    Hard to choose between them. Went for Scholastica for her turning to God to get a recalcitrant brother to listen to the rightness of her request.

  31. March 17, 2017 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    I have to vote for Marcina, sister to a famous theologian and a Cappadocian. I’ve known about her for years, just met Scholastica.

  32. Aelred, OSB's Gravatar Aelred, OSB
    March 17, 2017 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    As a Benedictine myself, I think I’m required to vote for Scholastica–but I’ll admit this was a tough choice!

  33. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    March 17, 2017 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    I loved Scholastic Books, too, Liz! This was a hard choice, though. Finally I decided I was put off by Macrina’s unduly literal interpretation of room and board and I had to hand it to Scholastica.

    • March 17, 2017 - 10:57 am | Permalink

      LOL at the room and board comment, Peg. 🙂

    • kesmarn's Gravatar kesmarn
      March 17, 2017 - 11:30 am | Permalink

      “Room and board…” LOL! Excellent.

  34. Patricia Dobro's Gravatar Patricia Dobro
    March 17, 2017 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    I voted for Macrina. I like that she was the woman behind her more known brothers.

  35. Jeanine's Gravatar Jeanine
    March 17, 2017 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    When I was little, I dreamed up alternative names for myself, designed around possible careers. My “actress name” was Danica Ray. My “nun name” was Scholastica Anne. (Clearly someone had given me a book of names…)
    I never became a nun but still think the name Scholastica rules – and sounds a bit like a nun who’d wield a ruler in class.

  36. Ann E's Gravatar Ann E
    March 17, 2017 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    Macrina for me. The eldest in a large family, she set an example of devotion to God and led four brothers to sainthood. Her brother Gregory’s biography makes clear how much he owed to her, and how much he loved her. She seems to embody selflessness and energy – running a holy community in her home while helping raise all those siblings and fighting cancer! (I agree that her parents ought to have a place in a later contest, too.)

  37. Deborah Giordano's Gravatar Deborah Giordano
    March 17, 2017 - 9:38 am | Permalink

    All-in for Macrina the Younger c 330, half of her sibs remembered as saints: Basil the Great & Gregory of Nyssa (two of the three Cappadocian Fathers), Peter of Sebaste, Naucratius. Beats #breastcancer ! Renounces wealth, turns family estate into monastery/convent: founded the 1st monastic order for women at Annesi. Cares for the poor. Dies on 2 planks on the floor, teaching her brother Gregory about the Resurrection

  38. March 17, 2017 - 9:38 am | Permalink

    I love that Scholastica’s story teaches us that sometimes love and compassion are more important than “The Rule”. However, I ultimately went with Macrina the Younger as her story resonated with me more (and better documented.) She was the older sister of brothers (whom she basically raised after the deaths of her parents…and we see how well she did that)—as am I; she founded a community of women, many of whom were initially brought in to be clothed and fed; and it seems after the death of her betrothed, she was able to use that as an opportunity to live a life relatively independent from the influence and control of men.

    Some extra reading that helped me in my choice:
    Macrina the Younger
    Band of Angels:The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women

    • March 17, 2017 - 9:43 am | Permalink

      And she beat breast cancer—how did I neglect to mention that?!

      Oh and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  39. Liz's Gravatar Liz
    March 17, 2017 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    Scholastica it is. Our women’s book group is reading Sr. Joan Chittister’s The Gift of Years so had to vote in support of our favorite Benedictine sister.

    • Pat R's Gravatar Pat R
      March 17, 2017 - 9:58 am | Permalink

      …and Sr. Joan is a Benedictine nun!!

      • Pat R's Gravatar Pat R
        March 17, 2017 - 10:01 am | Permalink

        …sorry, you already said that. Need to read before posting.

    • Ntathu's Gravatar Ntathu
      March 17, 2017 - 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Sister Joan has been my sort up teacher for many years. Thanks for helping me make a deceision.

      • Ntathu's Gravatar Ntathu
        March 17, 2017 - 6:03 pm | Permalink

        That’s not what I meant. Change to “spiritual” teacher. Doing things in a hurry between classes is never a good idea.

        • fran in the pines's Gravatar fran in the pines
          March 17, 2017 - 7:42 pm | Permalink

          O, Nthathu, really no need to change your original post. There are times when I feel at a loss how to sort out the options in life, how to sift through the difficulties and uncertainties to find the best way through, how to “sort up” decisions without getting “out of sorts.” I love your idea of a “sort up” teacher. You just may have invented a new career field!

  40. Fran's Gravatar Fran
    March 17, 2017 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    OK, had to vote for Macrina—sans the reference to the “dance”. Her story embodied, for me, the will to make a way for herself and she encouraged her mother to come along (not all daughters get along with their mothers). And her family was quite “saintly” filled! Wow, how do you compete with that? Anyway, Scholastica–I love the name, but Macrina’s story just won my heart!

  41. Janene's Gravatar Janene
    March 17, 2017 - 9:44 am | Permalink

    I am always amazed to realize how much these people of ancient times steered and perpetuated the Christian faith. Here we are in the 21st century thinking we know it all and read our bibles and prayer books, feeling really Christian. These brave souls kept the faith alive through the centuries so that we can do just that.
    Praise God for their lives !

    • Bee Jay's Gravatar Bee Jay
      March 17, 2017 - 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Good point. Without the Saints of old, there would be no saints today! — capital/no cap intentional.
      My vote is for Scholastica. I think Macrina is also one who keeps the faith for us today. Perhaps in another few when she’s eligible to run again, someone will put her on the bracket? Like Oakenhater who simply MUST get out of the first round.

  42. Robert K's Gravatar Robert K
    March 17, 2017 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    My write in ballot is for St. Patrick! (just teasing).

  43. March 17, 2017 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    I’m inspired by both these women, who seem every bit as amazing as their brothers. But Scholastica’s reply to her brother totally entranced me. And, even though I have no idea if there’s a connection, I benefitted greatly from Scholastic books as a child, and they’re still out there publishing excellent books for kids. So Scholastica it is.

  44. Bonnee's Gravatar Bonnee
    March 17, 2017 - 9:51 am | Permalink

    My vote was influenced by my admiration for the children’s picture book “The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica”–a sort of fictionalized biography charmingly illustrated by Tomie dePaola. Hadn’t realized until this morning that the author is Kathleen Norris.

  45. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 17, 2017 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    I’ll have to do some research before I can vote. I’m tempted to vote for Scholastica because when I adopted my two cats I was thinking about calling them Benedict and Scholastica. I ended up naming them Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker and AnnaLivia Plurabelle. Seeing as how neither of the cats are inclined to asceticism, that was probably a good decision.

  46. Pat R's Gravatar Pat R
    March 17, 2017 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    This one was a no-brainer for me! I owe the world to those wonderful well-educated Benedictine nuns who formed my values and nurtured my self-confidence as I eventually pursued a career as a professional woman. In our all-girls high school, St. Scholastica’s statue occupied a place of honor opposite her brother Benedict’s (tho she was the one who often found a cigarette lodged in her outstretched hand. Hopefully she also had a sense of humor and tolerance for the whims of teenage girls :):)) So go Scholastica!!!

  47. Timothy Murray's Gravatar Timothy Murray
    March 17, 2017 - 10:03 am | Permalink

    Voting today for Scholastica in fond memory of retreating at St. Gregory’s Abbey, Three Rivers, Michigan, and not-so-subtly offering a shout out for Benedictines of the Episcopal Church.

  48. Anna's Gravatar Anna
    March 17, 2017 - 10:04 am | Permalink

    I’m a Daughter of the King and follow the Benedictine Rule so . Scholastica it is.

  49. Stephanie Bradbury's Gravatar Stephanie Bradbury
    March 17, 2017 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    I love them both, but have to go with Macrina. After having been today inspired to read more about her life: her belief in the equality of all the women in her convent: slave or rich; Her leadership with her younger siblings and the establishment of a convent; her intelligence and theological influence on her more famous brothers; she is the obvious choice for me.

  50. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    March 17, 2017 - 10:11 am | Permalink

    For eldest daughters (of which I am one) and breast cancer patients and survivors everywhere, I vote for Macrina. That she would be remembered at all in a family with such famous brothers as Basil and Gregory, and after all these male-dominated centuries as well, is quite remarkable.

    For those of you who don’t get the “Hey Macarena” references, here’s the link. Have fun!

  51. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    March 17, 2017 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    For me it was a toss-up, but what decided me for Scholastica was Macrina’s determination to rely on faith healing instead of getting a physician. I’m in a state which finally had to crack down on faith healing, because children were dying. The parents refused to get medical care for their children, and as a result their children died. Now, Macrina may have made such a choice for herself, but given that healthcare is such a tendentious issue right now, I’m going to avoid supporting models that suggest that the poor should not insist on healthcare. Skepticism is a God-given attitude toward faith-based healing. Healthcare is a human right.

    • Linda's Gravatar Linda
      March 17, 2017 - 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Thank you. Your post made my decision. Scholastica it is! (I was sort of leaning to her anyway.)

    • Sara L's Gravatar Sara L
      March 17, 2017 - 3:23 pm | Permalink

      I thought the faith healing aspect of Macrina’s story was a little sketchy, too. But the scar-like cross leads me to believe a little surreptitious lumpectomy surgery may also have occurred, along with prayer. Like Scholastica’s storm, there is a natural explanation available. With Providential assistance, of course.

    • March 17, 2017 - 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for that comment, St. Celia.
      Macrina’s decision to reject the medical option in favour of faith healing is not something any of us should encourage for anyone.
      This is what swung the decision for me, even though I was leaning in Scholastica’s direction anyway.

  52. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    March 17, 2017 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    One of the things I so love about Lent Madness is the opportunity to learn about people I have never heard of before, such as Scholastica and Macrina, and two learn more about people I do know. Both are awesome women, but I choose Macrina partly because I, too, am a survivor of breast cancer, thanks to early detection and prompt treatment. Ladies, get your mammograms!

  53. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 17, 2017 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    Some thoughts on Macrina:
    I give her an F for intentionally refusing to learn the Classics. Reminds me too much of my days in a fundamentalist university listening to my fellow students debate whether or not learning Shakespeare was a waste of time or even sinful.
    I give her a big shining A+++ for espousing a robust universalism. Here’s a quote of hers from her brother’s book that I discovered on Matt Gunter’s blog (
    To evaluate the way a person has lived, the judge would need to examine all these factors: how he endured suffering, dishonor, disease, old age, maturity, youth, wealth, and poverty; how through each of these situations he ran the course of the life allotted to him either well or badly; and whether he became able to receive many good things or many evil things in a long lifetime or did not reach even the beginning of either good or evil, ceasing to live when his mind was not yet fully developed. But when God brings our nature back to the first state of man by the resurrection, it would be pointless to mention such matters and to suppose that the power of God is hindered from this goal by such obstructions.

    He has one goal: when the whole fullness of our nature has been perfected in each man, some straightway even in this life purified from evil, others healed hereafter through fire for the appropriate length of time, and others ignorant of the experience equally of good and of evil in the life here, God intends to set before everyone the participation of the good things in Him, which the Scripture says eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor thought attained.

    This is nothing else, according to my judgment, but to be in God Himself; for the good which is beyond hearing, sight, and heart would be that very thing which surpasses everything. But the difference between a life of virtue and a life of wickedness will appear hereafter chiefly in allowing us to participate earlier or later in the blessedness which we hope for. The duration of the healing process will undoubtedly be in proportion to the measure of evil which has entered each person. This process of healing the soul would consist of cleansing it from evil. This cannot be accomplished without pain, as we have discussed previously.

  54. Joyce in Madison. GA's Gravatar Joyce in Madison. GA
    March 17, 2017 - 10:25 am | Permalink

    I love thunderstorms and always want to believe they “mean” something. I’ll bet she was the elder of the twins. My mother always said she wished I had been twins instead of an only child. I would have loved a twin brother, especially one like Benedictine. What a gift to be able to control storms AND found the female branch of the Benedictine order. Hope you “scoop” the victory, Scholastica!

  55. Hilda Maria Knowles's Gravatar Hilda Maria Knowles
    March 17, 2017 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Scholastica as I am friends with and highly respect the Benedictine Sisters of Florida.

  56. Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
    March 17, 2017 - 10:30 am | Permalink

    How interesting that at 70-some comments, most of the commenters have voted for Macrina (I did, too), but Scholastica is ahead by miles. This was a hard decision to make today, but this is EXACTLY the kind of match-up I’ve been asking the SEC for. Both women, both from more or less the same time period, both monastics, even both with famous brothers! This way one monastic woman from early in church history will advance to the Saintly 16. Thank you, SEC.

    • Misti's Gravatar Misti
      March 17, 2017 - 10:45 am | Permalink

      I thought the same thing!! Also, wallowing in my depression… I had Macrina taking the Halo at the end! 🙁

  57. Eileen Centofanti's Gravatar Eileen Centofanti
    March 17, 2017 - 10:31 am | Permalink

    Neither of these spoke very strongly to me. I voted for Macrina because I’m a widow, too.

  58. Elaine Culver's Gravatar Elaine Culver
    March 17, 2017 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    I can’t remember the source exactly, although it might have been Frederick Buechner, but a contemporary theologian has described St. Scholastica as “the patron saint of just being there for someone,” a saint who understood so well “the ministry of presence.” Sometimes just being there is all anyone can do, and it’s enough.

    • March 17, 2017 - 11:05 am | Permalink

      I like that, Elaine. Thank you.

    • Linda Sylvester's Gravatar Linda Sylvester
      March 17, 2017 - 1:27 pm | Permalink

      I like that too. Scholastica is awesome because she was Benedicts partner in crime and certainly and unsung equal. The patron of just being there for someone. Very nice.

  59. Nancy Strong's Gravatar Nancy Strong
    March 17, 2017 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    Although my eldest daughter lived at Scholastica House for 4+ years while working at Saint Anselm College, being a firstborn myself, I have always been partial to Macrina and her stalwart and faithful efforts to effect reconciliation between bossy Basil and

    So, Macrina it is!

  60. March 17, 2017 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    What two wonderful women! Scholastica got my vote….a deep respect for a Benedtince life well lived. But Macrina’s deep trust that she would be reunited in the resurrection is a warm spot for all lovers. I’ll tuck that one away.

  61. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 17, 2017 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    I’m still on the fence. I’m reflecting on Scholastica and the storm. It was crucially important that Benedict not put himself above the Rule he had created. Leaders, by virtue of leading, often have to be toughest on themselves. So I really have to love Scholastica for “cutting the Gordian knot” and allowing her brother the space to lead and to love without the two being in contradiction.

  62. Paula's Gravatar Paula
    March 17, 2017 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    I was raised by “Bennies. Need I say more

  63. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 17, 2017 - 10:42 am | Permalink

    Changing the subject ever so slightly. I’d recommend googling Macrina’s brother Naucratius and also googling the Order of Saint Naucratius. Such a remarkable family!

  64. Misti's Gravatar Misti
    March 17, 2017 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    OH NO! My bracket is going to be busted if Macrina loses… I had her taking the Halo! What an amazing lady and family.

  65. Shepherd Ellis's Gravatar Shepherd Ellis
    March 17, 2017 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Marcina. We’re both the oldest children, and we both have mothers who survived breast cancer. I love Scholastica but the choice was clear for me.

  66. Ann Fontaine's Gravatar Ann Fontaine
    March 17, 2017 - 10:51 am | Permalink

    Scholastica for me — because having brothers is the greatest and hosting them is lovely. Besides Macrina is just too weird.

    • Rita Griffith's Gravatar Rita Griffith
      March 17, 2017 - 4:07 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Macrina being too weird. The wooden bed and pillow put me off her entirely.

  67. Marilyn Johnson's Gravatar Marilyn Johnson
    March 17, 2017 - 10:52 am | Permalink

    I wasn’t enthusiastic about this match up but went with Scholastica because of her importance to the Benedictine order. Really I’m still trying to get over my disappointment that my choice to win the Golden Halo this year, Joan of Arc, was eliminated in the first round! I’ll re-group on the weekend, no doubt, and promise to have a better Lenten attitude by Monday.

  68. Pat T's Gravatar Pat T
    March 17, 2017 - 10:53 am | Permalink

    Scholastica here, “protector in storms”. Being in Florida, I want her around come next hurricane season!

  69. marie jones's Gravatar marie jones
    March 17, 2017 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    I’m the eldest of a large family, and though my siblings are good folks all around, they would probably never be considered ‘saints.’ 😉 Still, so much goodness and guidance from one family! Then there is Scholastica. . . I, too, love storms . . . and know dear ones who grapple with epilepsy. . .and many who have/are grappling with breast cancer. . . What’s a soul to do?! Leave the decision to the Holy Spirit and flip a coin. (Did it. . . Scholastica it is!)

  70. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 17, 2017 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    As an elder daughter, who lost my mother to breast cancer, l vote for Macrina. I love the work of the Cappadocian Father’s, and to know that Macrina shaped their lives and theology makes me thankful for the mnay women theologians, often unsung, who have shaped the faith we have received.

  71. Lois Keen's Gravatar Lois Keen
    March 17, 2017 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    I’m glad I voted for Macrina. She deserves a closer race than this.

  72. Heather's Gravatar Heather
    March 17, 2017 - 11:02 am | Permalink

    Macrina was the name chosen by Madeleine L’Engle for an exceptionally empathetic and intelligent dolphin in one of my favorite childhood books, The Arm of the Starfish. Faced with an otherwise tough decision, I’m going with Macrina.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 17, 2017 - 5:54 pm | Permalink

      I’ve always meant to read that book! Thanks for the reminder!

  73. A kid's Gravatar A kid
    March 17, 2017 - 11:03 am | Permalink


  74. Nigel Anstey's Gravatar Nigel Anstey
    March 17, 2017 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    I have two children who have epilepsy, they are not epileptic children! Please use our language carefully. Thank you.

  75. Timothy J's Gravatar Timothy J
    March 17, 2017 - 11:16 am | Permalink

    Scholastics, because God listened to her prayer.

  76. Miss Jennifer's Gravatar Miss Jennifer
    March 17, 2017 - 11:18 am | Permalink

    On behalf of the wonderful ladies of Mt. St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas, I had to vote for Scholastica. I also love that she was treated as an equal by her brother St. Benedict.

    • Linda Sylvester's Gravatar Linda Sylvester
      March 17, 2017 - 1:29 pm | Permalink

      But what of Macrina – who was a key figure in the formation of the great and noble church fathers???

      • Miss Jennifer's Gravatar Miss Jennifer
        March 17, 2017 - 1:48 pm | Permalink

        You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine. I prefer Scholastica that was considered an equal by her brother who founded the Benedictine order. And as I mentioned, the ladies of Mt. St. Scholastica also influence my decision with their openness to all.

  77. Timothy J's Gravatar Timothy J
    March 17, 2017 - 11:18 am | Permalink

    Scholastica, because God listened to her prayer. (And she didn’t have to combat the evils of spellcheckers.)

  78. Robert's Gravatar Robert
    March 17, 2017 - 11:23 am | Permalink

    I agree. What an amazing family. I had no idea. But why the deliberate disrespect of the Irish? After all, they saved Western Civilization!

  79. Kathleen Connell's Gravatar Kathleen Connell
    March 17, 2017 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    Boo hiss, SEC. How dare you call St. Patrick’s Day a cultural phenomenon. A little hypocritical in light of your Lenten “devotion” is you ask me.

    Scholastica all the way. I was ordained to the Deaconate on her feast day.

  80. Deacon Di's Gravatar Deacon Di
    March 17, 2017 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    In honor of the wonderful hospitality of the Benedictine nuns at the monestary in Tulsa OK I support Scholastica.

  81. Meredith Hales's Gravatar Meredith Hales
    March 17, 2017 - 11:31 am | Permalink

    I love both of these strong, holy women, but the thunderstorm and Scholastica is one of my favorite saintly stories.

  82. March 17, 2017 - 11:31 am | Permalink

    Heavens above …. another tough choice today!

  83. Walker Shaw's Gravatar Walker Shaw
    March 17, 2017 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    Both choices today are women who lead remarkable monastic lives with Macrina the Younger getting my vote. A prayer written by Macrina the Younger is spot on for Lent: “You have released us, O Lord, from the fear of death. You have made the end of life here on earth a beginning of true life for us.” Her prayer was recorded by St. Gregory of Nyssa (her brother) and translated by Kevin Corrigan. While Scholastica very well educated, Macrina the Younger consciously rejected all Classical education, choosing instead devoted study of Scripture and other sacred writings. It is hard to vote against Scholastica who could summon a fierse storm but the remarkable life of Macrina the Younger deserves our vote.

  84. Donna K.'s Gravatar Donna K.
    March 17, 2017 - 11:33 am | Permalink

    I didn’t see any posts about how Macrina’s breast tumor and how her mother made it disappear. If only it could be that easy. Macrina gets my vote this time.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 17, 2017 - 5:56 pm | Permalink

      There were several posts (mine included), but nowhere near as many as I’d expected.

  85. Karen Howe's Gravatar Karen Howe
    March 17, 2017 - 11:49 am | Permalink

    Scholastica, because she understood that love and relationships are more important than rules.

  86. March 17, 2017 - 11:53 am | Permalink

    As a Benedictine, I am constrained to vote for Scholastica.

  87. J. Putnam's Gravatar J. Putnam
    March 17, 2017 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Macrina the Younger. Scholasticatempted her brother and used God to fill her own wants.

    • Rita Griffith's Gravatar Rita Griffith
      March 17, 2017 - 4:12 pm | Permalink

      God answered her prayer; she didn’t control God. If God had thought her intention was selfish or unwise, there would have been no storm.

  88. March 17, 2017 - 11:56 am | Permalink

    No No No!!!! We can’t have Macrina just because she suffered in silence and slept on a wooden pillow. Women are always suffering and putting themselves last. Scholastica took a stand with her brother and got what she needed — she got taken seriously in an intellectual conversation. Scholastica is what we need more of!!!!!!!!!!!

  89. Lisa Gonzalez's Gravatar Lisa Gonzalez
    March 17, 2017 - 11:58 am | Permalink

    I attend St. Benedict’s in Los Osos, CA, and our Altar Guild is named in honor of Scholastica! Her icon is posted on the front of the Altar Guild closet…so I see her almost daily. So there is no question who I voted for.

  90. Rich's Gravatar Rich
    March 17, 2017 - 11:59 am | Permalink

    As a weather weenie, how can I not vote for Scholastica. And my spiritual director is a Benedictine Nun; it’s just no contest!

  91. Edwina's Gravatar Edwina
    March 17, 2017 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Happy St. Patrick Day….may he share it with St. Scholastica today…Think of her and many schools and colleges are named in her Benedictine memory ?
    Did not know of her as patron saint of storms..but will remember it next time I am blown off my porch by the wind !!!

  92. March 17, 2017 - 12:15 pm | Permalink

    For me, this bracket was about which early Christian woman had the most impact on the men who stood on their shoulders. Macrina has my vote – her dedication to God and the nurturing of her sibs seem to directly influence the Early Church’s battle against the Arian heresy. Macrina hails from a significant family that had literally every member involved in formation of our faith – that tough time between a ragtag band of Jesus followers to an established Movement. In the midst of so many faithful reacting by joining the solitary monastic movement, some like Macrina and her family stayed and engaged.
    Today with the political environment what it is – I’m so tempted to disengage and adopt a mental monastic approach, and yet Macrina and her kith and kin present another way.
    I just didn’t get that vibe from Scholastica.

  93. Tony Lubong's Gravatar Tony Lubong
    March 17, 2017 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

    My mom celebrated her 80th birthday this past February 10th and is named Escolastica. Knowing that, I think it obvious for whom I voted. 😉

    • Linda Sylvester's Gravatar Linda Sylvester
      March 17, 2017 - 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Happy Birthday Escolastica!

  94. Trey's Gravatar Trey
    March 17, 2017 - 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Y’all, she asked God to summon a storm, and He did it! I mean…

  95. Freeman Gilbert's Gravatar Freeman Gilbert
    March 17, 2017 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Surprised I’m the only one who brought up Macrina’s universalism. Normally that’s a big thing around here. I shared a quote from her earlier today.

  96. Story's Gravatar Story
    March 17, 2017 - 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I like them both. I voted for Scholastica because after reading the comments it seemed that most people were voting for Macrina and I wanted it to be close. Now I wish I had voted for Macrina.

  97. Claire's Gravatar Claire
    March 17, 2017 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Summoning up a storm to keep talking with jer brother! Can’t beat that. Scholastica got my vote.

  98. Jillian's Gravatar Jillian
    March 17, 2017 - 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I don’t feel like this does justice to the influence Macrina had over her more-famous brothers and the rest of her family at all. Very disappointing. I encourage all of you who were left with the feeling that she didn’t do much to do more research.

  99. William Loring's Gravatar William Loring
    March 17, 2017 - 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Scholastica for 3 reasons: I relate better to her personality/spirituality; I’m a Benedictine confrater, and as a chaplain at St. Mary’s, Peekskill, years ago I often celebrated in the beautiful St. Scholastica’s chapel in the convent.

  100. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    March 17, 2017 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

    They seem pretty even to me, but as the youngest of a large family I had to go with the one who had to get God’s help to get her brother to listen! Scholastica it is!

  101. dawna quittmeyer's Gravatar dawna quittmeyer
    March 17, 2017 - 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Since I have Benedictine leanings, and my Benedictine group is the companions of Benedict and Scholastica, I must vote for her. She is the patron saint of my Sister friends.

  102. Janice McLemore's Gravatar Janice McLemore
    March 17, 2017 - 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I vote for Scholastica. She was able to get her brother to listen to her with God’s help.

  103. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    March 17, 2017 - 1:23 pm | Permalink

    For my friend of 40 years, a nun in a Cistercian monastery, I had to stop at twin to Benedict and vote for Scholastica.

    Now, to continue reading/learning about today’s two saints …

  104. Judith in White Hall's Gravatar Judith in White Hall
    March 17, 2017 - 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Horrible pairing. I wanted to vote for both. But the final choice was Scholastica, because I have a dog that is deathly afraid of thunder storms. Guess I will look for a Scholastica medal to put on her collar. This dog herds us to the basement when a tornado is coming. She also lets us know when an earthquake occurs even as far away as 500 miles, at exactly one minute before it occurs.

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      March 17, 2017 - 5:59 pm | Permalink

      I loved hearing about your dog! Thank you so much for sharing this!

      • Judith in White Hall's Gravatar Judith in White Hall
        March 17, 2017 - 11:39 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for your comment. We think she is pretty special (oops I should have said spoiled). She expects waffles for breakfast. But since she protects me from storms, she can have what she wants.

    • March 18, 2017 - 12:37 am | Permalink

      Good doggie!

  105. JOAN OGDEN's Gravatar JOAN OGDEN
    March 17, 2017 - 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Frankly, Emmelia (Macrina’s mother) should be the saint, with 9 or 10 children, but I had to go with Scholastica

  106. Timothy Cole-French's Gravatar Timothy Cole-French
    March 17, 2017 - 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I loved Macrina, she was so dedicated to making her home a holy place. A fire can’t start without a flame, and macrina was one of those flames.

  107. Christianne McKee's Gravatar Christianne McKee
    March 17, 2017 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Another tough decision! Two great women, but my heart belongs with the Benedicitines so I had to vote for Scholastica.

  108. Mark Bacher's Gravatar Mark Bacher
    March 17, 2017 - 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Namely because my birthday is on March 9 when ee Hear about Macrina dying in her brothers arms.

  109. James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
    March 17, 2017 - 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Macrina was noted as a very learned theologian who was highly regarded by her brother. She gave respect to the fashion then common that women ought not to teach; she would never take a direct position, but always couched her responses in questions, “Did not the learned so-and-so say such-and-such about this?” leaving the hearer to connect the dots. Her bio does not adequately address the depth of her knowledge and the fine reputation she had as a person of profound learning.
    She does not get the recognition she deserves.

  110. Mother and Son's Gravatar Mother and Son
    March 17, 2017 - 3:54 pm | Permalink

    We voted for Scholastica because it reminded us of the story of Martha and Mary. Martha followed the rules and Mary listened to Jesus. As Scholastica was to die in three days, whatever God wanted her to impart to her brother must have been important.

  111. Ben's Gravatar Ben
    March 17, 2017 - 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m just wondering if either of them wore pants.

  112. March 17, 2017 - 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Woah, very difficult choice. I went with Scholastica because my brother struggled with seizures. Not a good reason, I know, but oh well!

  113. March 17, 2017 - 5:19 pm | Permalink

    While they were both individuals of deep faith and learning, I voted for Scholastica. She knew that, even if rules are rules, sometimes compassion dictated the rules needed to be bent, or even broken.

    I also didn’t want to present the example of Macrina rejecting medical treatment in favour of faith healing for her tumour. As a hospital chaplain myself, I don’t want to present this action as a positive thing for any person of faith to emulate in the face of a life-threatening illness.

    • March 17, 2017 - 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Actually, change “present” to “promote” in the first sentence of my second paragraph. It makes more sense that way.

  114. March 17, 2017 - 5:27 pm | Permalink

    My wife and I lived in Arizona for several years and more than once I asked Scholastica to pray for rain!

  115. Izzie's Gravatar Izzie
    March 17, 2017 - 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Love both with the whole siblings thing but had to go with Schoolastica I am often having to plead my brother to spend time with me too. But really both are great.

  116. Joann's Gravatar Joann
    March 17, 2017 - 6:03 pm | Permalink

    OK my birthday is February 10th – need I say more? OK but I will having a birthday on St. Scholastica’s feast day, I have been aware of her for as long as I can remember. I always felt a bit proud of her (and of being associated with a “scholarly” saint) and wanted (I think) to do her proud by being a good student. I always felt she influenced my academic pursuits! So am happy today to cast my vote for her! 🙂

  117. LauraT's Gravatar LauraT
    March 17, 2017 - 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Macrina the Younger for me because she challenges me with her asceticism.

  118. Laura's Gravatar Laura
    March 17, 2017 - 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t think I’d vote for Scholaatica, but I didn’t know she was the patron saint for children with epilepsy. That tipped it for me. A condition that has carried–and still often does–a stigma.

  119. Petra's Gravatar Petra
    March 17, 2017 - 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I was waiting for the chance to vote my personal saint Scholastica. I chose this saint during my confirmation due to her close tie with her brother, as I was very close to my brother during our childhood. We’ve grown apart now but I am inspired to reach out to him today after reading the story again of Scholastica.

    • March 18, 2017 - 6:49 am | Permalink

      That would be a blessed outcome of this Lent Madness. I wish you well, Petra.

  120. Elizabeth Coombs's Gravatar Elizabeth Coombs
    March 17, 2017 - 6:40 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Scholastica, because I like my saints with a touch of spunk, but I love that the blessed, much-loved, highly influential Macrina the Younger was also the eldest! (And took her role as the eldest child very seriously.)

  121. Ryan's Gravatar Ryan
    March 17, 2017 - 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Love them both, so I’m happy whoever wins!

  122. Debbie's Gravatar Debbie
    March 17, 2017 - 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Not particularly a fan of either one. Neither refusing medical care or deliberately living in abject poverty impress me.

  123. Jane's Gravatar Jane
    March 17, 2017 - 9:50 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Scolastica, mostly because of her love for good conversation;
    conversation where you share ideas and learn. Finding someone to share that experience with is an exciting and joyous happening, all the more exciting and joyous for Scolastica because it was her beloved brother she shared ideas with and she got to see him only once a year. Who would want to waste part of that precious time sleeping, under those circumstances? Her story also shows s the importance of using our time well, since she died shortly after that last visit. Cool that her prayers could control the weather; if she was on earth now maybe she could’ve fixed it so we wouldn’t have had all this cold & snow the past few days! (Wishful thinking…)

  124. Marianne's Gravatar Marianne
    March 17, 2017 - 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Having recently taken Benedictine vows in a monastery without walls, I had to get behind Scholastica, although Macrina is a most esteemed alternative.

  125. Barbara Gay's Gravatar Barbara Gay
    March 17, 2017 - 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Went with Marina because I am also a breast cancer survivor

  126. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    March 17, 2017 - 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Scholastica because of her power over storms and she is the patron saint of children who have epilepsy. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!

  127. J.J. Cape Cod's Gravatar J.J. Cape Cod
    March 17, 2017 - 10:41 pm | Permalink

    As the 5th child of nine in my family I voted for Macrina.

  128. Natalie's Gravatar Natalie
    March 17, 2017 - 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Tough one! Having spent some “interesting,” formative years at St Scholastica’s College, do I vote for or against her? In the end, I guess, I can’t say it was her fault. Besides the dove is pretty amazing. Maybe in the next round you will tell us about that bit, SEC?

  129. Ellen Ekstrom's Gravatar Ellen Ekstrom
    March 17, 2017 - 11:57 pm | Permalink

    In an age when women were less than second class citizens, Macrina founded a monastery and I believe the equal to her brothers. She was amazing. Another amazing woman: the Samaritan Woman at the Well. I’m waiting for the Samaritan Woman to show up on the bracket.

  130. Barbara Bley's Gravatar Barbara Bley
    March 18, 2017 - 12:54 am | Permalink

    Being a big fan of Gregory of Nyssa, I had to vote for his sister! Besides, I feel she showed more of the virtues of a saint.

  131. Amy's Gravatar Amy
    March 18, 2017 - 3:44 am | Permalink

    Having survived breast cancer treatment, I went with Macrina. I’d have preferred the sign of the cross to surgery, chemo and radiation. I’m too much of a wimp to sleep on a bare board though.

  132. March 18, 2017 - 7:27 am | Permalink

    I live in Florida. Thunderstorms can be intense and fierce here. Knowing that Scholastica will intercede to keep us safe, I’m voting for her. And praying for Scholastique, too, Susan Buchanan. May she build a life of promise, hope, and joy.

  133. Patty's Gravatar Patty
    March 18, 2017 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure how it happened, but I forgot to vote yesterday! Now I must wait until Monday for another chance. This will be a long weekend of intense LMW! 😉

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      March 18, 2017 - 9:56 pm | Permalink

      Me too. I read the post and all the comments around lunchtime and was having trouble deciding and was going to come back in the evening to vote and forgot to do so. Then this morning at an event at church Canon Julia mentioned Scholastica’s brother and I suddenly remembered that I had not voted. I feel horrible, but at least this wasn’t a civil election.

  134. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 18, 2017 - 11:33 am | Permalink

    Phoey! I forgot to vote yesterday. First time that’s ever happened since I’ve been following Lent Madness. My 89-year old mother fell, had surgery and is still in the Hospital, and my hands are a little full. Hate that I missed this fun matchup. Would have been Scholastica all the way!

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      March 18, 2017 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Anne, here are prayers for your mother and your full hands. Scholastica will be glad for your vote in a later round. Meanwhile, take care.

  135. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    March 18, 2017 - 8:42 pm | Permalink

    How nice of you, Peg. Thank you!

  136. John Crittenden's Gravatar John Crittenden
    March 18, 2017 - 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Ex post facto:
    Way too much squabbling for me on these ancient women of faith. What do you need to do, part the Red Sea?

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