Venerable Mother Scholastica Rivata
As Disciples of the Divine Master we celebrate our foundation day on the 10th of February, the feast of St. Scholastica. The name given by the Founder to the new group of sisters contains the term 'disciples' or 'scholastics' and to the first young person chosen, Orsola Rivata, to whom is entrusted the responsibility over the new religious family, was given the name Scholastica, that is, disciple. She is now known as Venerable Mother Mary Scholastica Rivata.
Fr. Alberione’s own profound experience of living God’s project with docility was itself an experience of discipleship. "Everything was school to him," he himself affirmed. As Disciples of the Divine Master, our life has been expressed since the beginning along the line of the Eucharistic mystery and with a style of life that is characterised by humility, silence, hiddenness, the spirit of sacrifice, and by unconditional giving of self.
Speaking about the name of our Congregation, the Founder also wrote: "The name of Disciples comes from their office: they ought to accomplish towards the Divine Master the office of the Pious Women, of the first among the Pious Women, that is, the Blessed Mother: to adore Jesus, console him in the Most Blessed Eucharist, to stay in vigil before the Holy Tabernacle for love while burning more or better than the candles of wax, to invoke from the Divine Master the triumph of the Press and render the services that Our Lady did for Jesus and the Apostles. This is the summary of their humble life lived in silence, in love, in prayer, life that is remembered also by the habit that bears the colors of Our Lady, which is blue, with a flaming Eucharistic ray on the chest."
The motto for the life of Mother Scholastica can be found in a phrase that sprung from her lips when she refused an offer of marriage: “Lord, you alone are enough for me!”
Orsola Maria was born in Guarene in Italy on 12th of July 1897. When she was 7 she received her First Holy Communion, the first important step in her spiritual journey. She had a deep awareness of this mysterious gift of union with Jesus and she desired to receive the Him frequently. Holy Communion soon became her daily practice.
At the age of twelve, Orsola was confirmed and felt a strong desire to spend her energies in the apostolate: “to do good.” She was a lively, mature and outgoing young woman: she took an active role in the life of the parish; she had a beautiful voice and enjoyed singing. In 1921 she went to a bookshop one Saturday in Alba, Italy and there she met Fr. James Alberione, Founder of the Pauline Family. He invited her to enter the house at St. Paul’s in Alba, Italy.
In 1924, the first steps were taken toward the foundation of a new Congregation. Orsola (later Sr. Scholastica), was to be instrumental in this great work. Discipleship was to become the entire program of her relationship with Jesus, the Divine Master. Throughout her life, Scholastica dedicated herself to living the Eucharistic, Priestly and Liturgical apostolate. She was sustained and nourished in this ministry through her love for Jesus in the Eucharist. She found there the strength to welcome the God who often revealed himself through the cross and suffering. These were elements which deeply marked her radiant and simple existence.
Nourished by the word of Jesus, Sr. Scholastica always knew how to choose the better part. Her life was directed entirely toward losing herself in love and to surrendering herself unconditionally to God’s plan for her life. In her journey of discipleship she was led on a journey of interior freedom and self- abandonment, experiencing suffering, uncertainty, darkness, failure, solitude and humiliation. All of these elements however, led her on a spiritual pilgrimage of transfiguration in Christ. Through her humble and serene lifestyle, Scholastica teaches us to rely upon God alone, abandoning our security and our plans, our own sense of self-importance so that God’s plans and desires may find a place within us.
The message Sr. Scholastica offers to the young people of today is that of making a decision for Christ. Recently her venerability was declared and so the Church affirms the holiness of her life. As sisters, we strive to bear witness to the centrality of God in our lives and we affirm that faith is the journey we undertake in order to open ourselves to God’s desires for our lives. To the future generations of Sister Disciples, Sr. Scholastica is a witness to God’s faithfulness. This witness is not simply for the Disciples of the Divine Master, but for all people.
You can see a little of the story of Mother Scholastica through this video production on youtube: Symphony of Joy!
If you wish to have a book about the life of Mother Scholastica or a medal with a relic, contact us through the contact page.