Did you know that Saint Lidwina is the patron saint of ice skaters?
Saint Lidwina (1380 – 1433) had a truly extraordinary life. At the age of 15 she had an accident ice-skating in Schiedam, Holland. She broke a rib, but soon became paralyzed as well, save for her left hand. Disabled, she lay in constant pain for years. Parts of her body – skin, bones, and intestine- rotted from her body. Yet she never failed to give praise to God. She prayed and fasted.
She began to have visions and miracles occurred at her bedside. In one vision she was shown a rose-bush. She heard the words ‘When this shall be in full bloom your sufferings will be at an end.’ In spring 1433 she was heard to exclaim ‘I see the rose-bush in full bloom!’ On Easter Day that year, she was in contemplation. The Lord appeared to her and administered the sacrament of Anointing to her. After that she died, after years of excruciating sufferings.
A chapel was built over her grave. Her feast day is April 14. Many believe that she may have suffered from multiple sclerosis. She is patron saint of ice-skaters and the chronically ill.