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Feast of Saint Lidwina of Schiedam


St. Lidwina of Schiedam was born to a poor family in Holland. She had a devotion to the Blessed Mother and would often pray before the miraculous image of Our Lady of Schiedam. One winter, when she was 15 years old, she fell while ice skating and broke a rib, which she never recovered from. Gangrene spread throughout her body, which became as one big sore, and she was bed-ridden for the rest of her life. No medicine was able to help her. Her gradual physical deterioration was so grotesque that many suspected her of being possessed by the devil. However, when a priest brought her an unconsecrated Host, she was able to discern that it was not the Body and Blood of Christ. She experienced great suffering in this way until she was 53, but God rewarded her with the gift of heightened prayer, mystical visions, and spiritual consolations. Although she was not cured, many miraculous healings were attributed to her intercession. She fasted continuously, eventually surviving on only the Eucharist, and after her death on Easter Sunday the sweet odor of sanctity filled her room. Her grave became a pilgrimage site over which a chapel was erected. St. Lidwina of Schiedam is the patron of the chronically ill and ice skaters. Her feast day is April 14th.

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Saint Lydwine’s fall on the ice, drawing from the 1498 edition of John Brugman’s ‘Vita of Lidwina’ IMAGE: Public Domain

Pain and love are almost synonymous words.”

Saint Lidwina of Schiedam
Saint Lydwine , bedridden, would receive the Holy Sacrament frequently in her bedroom. Illustrated is a painting by 19th-century Russian artist Alexey Venetsianov of a sick woman receiving the Eucharist IMAGE: Public Domain

Follow the saints because those who follow them will become saints.”

Saint Clement I, pope

Saint Lidwina of Schiedam, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family, pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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