Wednesday, April 16, 2014

St. Lydwine

Happy Feast of St. Lydwine (Lidwine)!

 St. Lydwine is the patron saint sickness, chronically ill and ice skaters (yes, ice skaters...this seems odd to me, but mainly because I live in a place where ice skating is not an issue).  She was one of nine children of a working man.  Early in life, Lydwine was drawn to prayer and to the Mother of God (especially Our Lady of Schiedam).  During the winter of 1395, she was ice skating and fell.  This cause a broken rib, which did not heal properly (this sounds minor, but it even caused gangrene to form and spread throughout her body).  This was the beginning of her martyrdom.  (I find this odd, I'm learning, but until I started looking into saints I had no idea that you could be a martyr for personal suffering which did not include being burned at the stake or killed for your faith in some other way).  Lydwine was filled with pain, that only seemed to increase, causing some to think she was under the influence of an evil spirit (some of these sufferings included headaches, vomiting, fever, thirst, bedsores, toothaches, muscle spasms, blindness, neuritis and the stigmata).  Her pastor even brought her an unconsecrated host, which she was able to identify immediately.  God rewarded her through her pain.  She was given a wonderful gift of prayer and with visions.  Many miracles took place at her bedside.  She received an vision telling her that her suffering would end when she saw a rose bush in full bloom.  On Easter day 1433, she died while having a vision of Christ coming towards her to administer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction.

Ok, so honestly, if I would have known her I wonder what I would have thought.  Would I have felt sympathy for her, condemned her for her sufferings or questioned her?  Honestly I don't know.  I had never heard of St. Lydwine until today.  To tell the truth, sometimes I wonder why anyone would want to strive to be a saint, this story of suffering is one that makes me feel that way!  I will say that I will pray to her for my son who has been suffering with migraine headaches for the past year.  I don't know of anyone else who can possibly help him, maybe this will be his saving grace.  Saint Lydwine pray for my sweet boy!



                                                                         catholic.org





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