St. Catherine of Sweden


 
St. Catherine of Sweden Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 03/24


Patron Of: Against Abortion, Against Miscarriages

Also known as

    * Catherine Vastanensis
    * Catherine of Vadstena

Memorial

    * 24 March

Profile

    Fourth of the eight children of Saint Bridget of Sweden and Ulf Gudmarsson. Educated at the convent of Riseberg. Married by arrangement at age 13 to the pious German noble Eggart von Kürnen. Soon after their marriage, both she and her husband took vows of chastity and continence. Travelled to Rome, Italy in c.1350 to be with her mother. Widowed soon after.

    For the next 25 years the two women used Rome as a base for a series of pilgrimages, including one to Jerusalem. When home, they spent their days in prayer and meditation, working with the poor, and teaching them religion. They each had to fend off the unwanted advances of local men, including young lords; during one of these, a wild hind came to Catherine’s defense, chasing off the troublesome, would-be suitor.

    When Bridget died, Catherine took her body back to Sweden, burying it at the convent of the Order of the Holy Savior (Brigittines) at Vadstena. Catherine became superior of the Order, and served as abbess. Wrote a devotional work entitled Sielinna Troëst (Consolation of the Soul), but no copies have survived. Attained papal approval of the Brigittine Order in 1375. Worked for the canonization of her mother.

Born

    * 1331 in Sweden

Died

    * 24 March 1381 of natural causes

Canonized

    * 1484 (cultus confirmed) by Pope Innocent VIII

Patronage

    * against abortions
    * against miscarriages

Representation

    * Brigittine abbess with a hind at her side
    * Brigittine holding a lily
    * Brigittine dressing a poor man’s wounds
    * Brigittine being brought Communion on her death bed
 



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All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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