Saint Lydwina of Schiedam
Saint Lydwina was born March 18, 1380 and died April 14, 1433 at Schiedam, Netherlands. She is the patroness •against sickness •against bodily ills •ice skating •prolonged suffering •roller skating •sick people •skaters •skating.
At the age of 15, whike ice skating, she fell and broke one of her ribs; an injury from which she never recovered. Her condition became such that she was paralyzed except for her left hand and that great pieces of her body fell off, and that blood poured from her mouth, ears, and nose. Some believe Saint Lydwina is one of the first known multiple sclerosis patients and attribute her disability to the effects of the disease and her fall.
Lydwina fasted continuously after her fall and subsequent illness. She became known as a healer and holy woman and yet some considered her under the influence of an evil spirit.
Her hometown of Schiedam promulgated a document (which has survived) that attests to her complete lack of food and sleep. At first she ate a little piece of apple, then a bit of date and watered wine, then river water contaminated with salt from the tides. The authenticating document from Schiedam also attests that Lidwina shed skin, bones, parts of her intestines, which her parents kept in a vase and which gave off a sweet odor. These excited so much attention that Lidwina had her mother bury them.
Legend says that she had the gift of inedia, the abstinence from all nourishment for great lengths of time. This gift is usually manifested as the ability to exist for months or years with no food but Holy Communion. It is recounted that her only food for her last 19 years was the Eucharist.
St Lydwina was blind her last seven years. Her final vision was of Christ administering last rites to her. She died at the age of 53 and one of her biographies was written by Thomas a Kempis.
On 14 March 1890, Leo XIII officially canonized Lydwina.
Good Saint Lydwina, help me to remember my true and only source of nourishment is Christ and His Church.
When I am suffering, I pray to recall the sufferings of others, even Christ crucified. Others have gone through sufferings before me and through their sufferings, they have reached their heavenly reward.
I can only come to know and love you more my Sweet Jesus through continual prayer and frequent contemplation.