Catherine of Sweden


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Abbess (1331–81).

The fourth of eight children of Ulf of Godmarsson and Bridget of Sweden, Catherine married Eggard Lydersson, an invalid whom she nursed devotedly: some claim that the marriage was never consummated. With his consent she joined her mother in Rome and Jerusalem from 1349 onwards. Returning to Sweden, she again looked after her husband until his death. From then onwards she was even more closely associated with her mother's religious activities and particularly with her convent of Vadstena, where Catherine became abbess, and where her cell survives, with a window on to the church's sanctuary. Catherine was important in the history of the Brigittine Order, as she obtained papal approval for it in 1376. She also worked hard to secure the canonization of Bridget, which was finally achieved in 1381. The approval of her own cult followed in 1484. Feast: 24 March.

I. Collijn, Processus Canonizationis b. Katerinae de Vadstenis (1942–46);J. Jorgensen, St Bridget of Sweden (2 vols. 1954).

Subjects: Christianity — Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).

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