+ Lydwina was born in Schiedam, in the Netherlands, to an impoverished but noble family.
+ When she was 15 years old, Lydwina fell while ice skating and broke a rib. This marked a turning point in her life. Severe infection set in and, over the course of several years, she became paralyzed, suffering from painful sores, and eventually lost her sight.
+ During these years of intense suffering and humiliation, her faith continued to grow and she was blessed with many mystical experiences.
+ Lydwina was greatly devoted to the Passion of Christ and is said to have received the stigmata, joining in Christ’s suffering on Fridays. Although she was ridiculed by civil and church leaders, she maintained her devotions.
+ Especially devoted to her Guardian Angel, she is often depicted in art in conversation with this heavenly companion.
+ Saint Lydwina died on Easter Sunday, April 14, 1433, and devotion to her was confirmed by Pope Leo XIII. She is honored as a patron saint of those who ill, who suffer from paralysis, and of skaters.
Today the Church also remembers Saint Abundius the Sacristan. What we know of him comes from a life written by Pope Saint Gregory the Great. Abundius served as the sacristan of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome and his simple, humble life was an inspiration for many. He died around the year 564.
“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.”—Romans 8:18
Hear us, God our Savior, that, as we rejoice in commemorating the Virgin blessed Lydwina, we may be instructed by her loving devotion. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Virgins)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.