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"O guide us in safety,

And come, we entreat,

To help our last agony,

O Mary most sweet!"

/. C. F.

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St. Lydwine of Schiedam

LYDWINE was born at Schiedam, in Holland, on Palm Sunday, April 18, 1380, while the Passion was being chanted in church.  They christened her Lydwine, which means "suffering much," and thus a single word foretold the story of her life.  The child at twelve dedicated body and soul to God, and then, lest men should think of marrying her, prayed God to spoil the charms of her exceeding beauty.  Her prayer was more than granted.  At fifteen she fell while skating on the ice.  The hurt she received kept her in the bed, from which she never rose, except in ecstasy, for thirty years.  Soon every limb was in torture.  Her head and left arm only could be moved.  Her face became hideous with sores.  Her body, eaten with worms, would literally have fallen to pieces if not tied together.  For years she ate no food.  Crowds came to stare at her.  Drunken soldiers mocked and even brutally struck her.  A bad woman spat in her face.  Her very friends, through neglect, left her once with a heap of red-hot coals in contact with her helpless feet.  Meanwhile her poor hovel was an apostolate of charity and a paradise of joy.  Her few meek words softened hard hearts, healed quarrels and wrought miracles of grace, until on Easter Tuesday, 14th of April, 1433 her wondrous sacrifice was complete, and her beloved Spouse took her to her everlasting home.

If men deserted Lydwine, angels became her courtiers.  They shed light around her cell and scattered sweet perfumes upon her bed of straw.  They bore her bodily in their arms long journeys to the Holy Land, to Calvary, and to Mount Thabor.  From these mysterious visits she brought back visible tokens; a wand, plucked from a tree of Paradise, wherewith to move the curtain about her head, a veil given to her by the hand of Our Blessed Lady.  And our Lord Himself fed her miraculously with the Sacred Host, and finally restored to her body after death the freshness and beauty of youth. 


Pain comes to us from the hand of God for our good. B. Lydwine’s life reminds us how great are the rewards in store for those who know its value and accept it as a mercy. 


"Know," says St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi, "that the experience of pain is something so noble and precious that the Divine Word, who enjoyed the abundant riches of Paradise, yet, because He was not clothed with this ornament of sorrow, came down from heaven to seek it upon earth." 


"As gold in the furnace He hath proved them, and as a victim of holocaust He hath received them." Wisdom iii:6. 



Pure as the crystal bright,

Pure as the Seraph s light,

Mary was ever,

Stained by a shade of sin,

Even where lives begin,

Never! no, never!


The Spouse of th’ Anointed Son-

God’s own Church, true and one-

Said in her might:

Semper purissima,

Semper castissima,

Heaven s delight!


She has our Ransom borne;

She, by our passions torn,

Stood by the Cross.

Now, ‘midst the flaming Thrones,

Stands she, with sweetest tones,

Praying for us.

Messenger of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

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