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St. Benedicta

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Death: 546

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In his Dialogues, Pope Saint Gregory the Great tells of the nun Benedicta as a cherished friend of her fellow religious, the widow Saint Galla, who had spent many years serving God in a Roman convent near Saint Peter's Basilica. Having been stricken with breast cancer, the bedridden Galla kept two candles burning each night at the foot of her bed, for as Gregory explains, "she hated darkness, being a friend of light, physical as well as spiritual light." It was between these two candles that one night the Apostle Saint Peter appeared in a vision to Galla. The dying nun asked him, "Have my sins been forgiven?" Smiling, Peter nodded yes and answered, "They are forgiven. Come." But Galla now requested, "I beg you to let Sister Benedicta come with me." Peter told her, "Sister Benedicta will follow you in thirty days." Three days later, Galla died. Thirty days afterward, Sister Benedicta died just as Saint Peter in the vision had foretold. Fittingly, the head relic of Saint Benedicta is kept in Rome's Church of the Apostles.

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