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Saint Lydwine

St. Lydwine is the patroness of sickness. She was born at Schiedam, Holland, one of nine children of a working man. After an injury in her youth, she became bedridden and suffered the rest of her life from various illnesses and diseases.

She experienced mystical gifts, including supernatural visions of heaven, hell, purgatory, apparitions of Christ, and the stigmata. Thomas a Kempis wrote a biography of her. She was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1890. Lydwine suffered a fall while ice skating in 1396, when a friend collided with her and caused her to break a rib on the right side. From this injury, she never recovered. An abscess formed inside her body which later burst and caused Lydwine extreme suffering.

Eventually, she was to suffer a series of mysterious illnesses which in retrospect seemed to be from the hands of God. Lydwine heroically accepted her plight as the will of God and offered up her sufferings for the sins of humanity. Some of the illnesses which affected Lydwine were headaches, vomiting, fever, thirst, bedsores, toothaches, spasms of the muscles, blindness, neuritis and the stigmata. Her feast day is April 14.

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