Saint Catherine of Sweden

Catherine, following the example of her mother, St. Bridget, left some unpublished treatises of mystical content, where she deals with various practical matters of the spiritual path.  

Newsroom (24/03/2022 8:51 PM, Gaudium PressSaint Catherine was the fourth of eight children of a very virtuous couple: her mother was Saint Brigid, married to Prince Ulphon of Sweden.

While still a girl, St. Brigid was given to an abbess so that she could continue her instruction in the cloister.

The devil could not stand her: one night, while her guardian was in church, he took the form of a bull and with his horns pulled her out of bed. The abbess arrived attracted by the girl’s screams, and the superior herself saw the devil who said to her, “With what pleasure I would have finished her off, if God had allowed me.”

She was destined for marriage from a very young age, at 13, with no inclination for it. She managed to get her husband, Edgardo de Kurner, to live with her in perfect continence, both devoting themselves to works of charity.

St. Bridget went to live in Rome, and with her husband’s permission, her daughter St. Catherine also went there. A short time later, Edgardo died.

God protected her virtue

One day, a suitor wanted to kidnap Saint Catherine to marry her by force. She was walking to the church of San Sebastian when the man appeared. But suddenly a deer appeared on the path that distracted the kidnapper and she was able to escape.

However, the wretched man did not give up his intent, and once again wanted to carry out the kidnapping, when she was on her way with her mother to the church of San Lorenzo. However, God was less patient, and the man was blinded. When the man learned the reason for his punishment, he asked the saints to pray for him, which they charitably did, restoring his sight.

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Once, a group of bandits surrounded Saint Catherine and Saint Bridget on their way to Assisi. The moment they dared to touch them, they too were blinded, in this case permanently.

On one occasion, Catherine showed a desire to return to her country. However, at night Our Lady appeared to her and, rebuking her, tells her that in her land she would run numerous dangers to her soul. Upon waking, the saint runs to her mother’s feet, promising that she would never abandon her.

After a pilgrimage to Rome, Saint Bridget dies. Catherine fulfills a promise from her mother and takes her remains to Sweden. She then returns to Rome, working unsuccessfully for her mother’s canonization.

Through her, and while she was still alive, God performed several miracles, such as the portentous return of the Tiber to its bed, or when she healed a worker who had fallen from a great height.

She returned to Sweden and retired to the monastery of Vadstena, where she was abbess and remained until her death.

St. Catherine died on March 24, 1381, and was canonized in 1474.

Compiled by Camille Mittermeier

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