Saint Catherine of Sweden

Saint Catherine of Sweden

If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire. Let the truth be your delight…proclaim it…but with a certain congeniality. - St. Catherine

St. Catherine of Sweden was a 14th-century mystic and religious leader who is known for her devotion to God and her spiritual writings. She was born in 1331, in the city of Uppland, Sweden, and was the daughter of St. Bridget of Sweden, a well-known mystic and founder of the Bridgettine Order. From a young age, Catherine displayed a deep devotion to God and a love of prayer.

She was the fourth child of Prince Ulf Gudmarsson and St. Bridget. From early youth Catherine loved God intensely; at the age of seven she was placed in the care of the holy Abbess of the convent of Riseberg to be educated. At the age of fourteen, her father gave her in marriage to Eggart von Kernen, a virtuous young nobleman.

Catherine persuaded her husband to join her in a vow of chastity. The happy couple spent much of their time in prayer, mortification and works of charity. In spite of her deep love for her husband, Catherine accompanied her mother to Rome, in 1819. Soon after her arrival in that city, Catherine received news of the death of her husband in Sweden.

She now lived constantly with her mother, aided St. Bridget in her fruitful labors, and zealously imitated her mother’s ascetic life, refusing all offers of marriage. In 1372 Catherine, together with her brother, accompanied her mother on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Upon their return to Rome St. Bridget died.

Spiritual life of St. Catherine

As a teenager, Catherine entered the Order of the Most Holy Savior, a religious community founded by her mother. She took her vows as a nun in 1350 and soon became known for her spiritual wisdom and her ability to help others deepen their own spiritual lives. In 1374, Catherine was elected as the prioress of the community, and she served in this role for the next 15 years.

During her time as prioress, Catherine developed a reputation for her deep spirituality and her ability to guide others in their spiritual lives. She wrote several spiritual treatises, including “”The Book of Divine Comfort,”” which is considered to be one of her most important works. In this book, Catherine offered advice on how to deepen one’s relationship with God and how to overcome difficulties and trials in life through faith and prayer.

Catherine also had many visions and mystical experiences, which she wrote about in her spiritual diary. In one of her visions, Jesus appeared to her and encouraged her to continue her work of guiding others in their spiritual lives. Her visions have also been credited to assist in the establishment of the liturgical texts in the Swedish Church.

In 1389, Catherine resigned as prioress, but she continued to live in the community and devote herself to prayer and contemplation. She died on March 24, 1381 and was buried in the church of the Most Holy Savior.

After her death, her spiritual writings and mystical experiences received attention, and many people began to seek her intercession and guidance. In 1484, the Catholic Church formally recognized her as a saint.

Catherine of Sweden is remembered for her spiritual writings and her role as a spiritual leader and guide. Her book “”The Book of Divine Comfort”” is still read and studied by many people today and her visions that were recorded in her spiritual diary are also an important source of inspiration. Her devotion to God and her ability to help others deepen their own spiritual lives continue to be an inspiration to many.

Catherine was also a great advocate for the liturgical texts in the Swedish Church. Her visions and experiences were used as evidence to support the adoption of the vernacular in liturgical texts and the development of the liturgical calendar in the Swedish Church. This helped to pave the way for a more popular and accessible form of worship and made Christianity more accessible for the common people of Sweden.

Other Saints of the Day

1. Saint Aldemar
2. Saint Caimin
3. Saint Domangard
4. Saint Latinus
5. Saint Macartan

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