Saint of the day
The name Lidwina means “suffering.” Lidwina was from Holland. She was born in 1380 and died in 1433. When she was fifteen, Lidwina dedicated herself completely to God. She might have become a nun some day. But in a single afternoon, her entire life was changed.
When she was sixteen, Lidwina went skating with her friends. One of them accidentally bumped into her. Lidwina fell down hard on the ice and broke a rib. This was very painful. But the fall triggered other problems, too. In the days ahead, she began to have severe headaches, and experience nausea, fever, thirst, and pain throughout her whole body.
Crying, Lidwina told her father she could not stand the pain anymore. But the pain increased. She developed sores on her face and body. She became blind in one eye. Finally, she could no longer get out of bed.
Lidwina became frustrated and bitter. Why had God let this happen to her? What did he want from her? And what could she still give to him anyway? Her parish priest, Father John, came to visit and pray with her. He helped her think of what Jesus had suffered. Lidwina began to realize the special gift that she could give to Jesus: she would suffer for him. She would offer her sufferings to console Jesus, who had suffered so much for all of us on the cross. Little by little, Lidwina’s suffering became a beautiful prayer that she offered to God.
Lidwina was very sick for thirty-eight years. It seemed impossible that she could remain alive in such a serious condition. But she did. And God comforted her in many ways. Lidwina was good and kind to everyone who came to visit her poor little room. She helped her visitors by praying for them and their special intentions.
Lidwina’s special love was for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. For the last nineteen years of her life, she needed no other food except Holy Communion. This was a special gift God gave her.
Blessed Lidwina shows us that we can offer any physical pain to Jesus as an act of love. Her story also reminds us that we should always thank God for our health.