Date of Birth:
Date of Death:
March 24, 1381
She devoted her time in guiding others in their faith and providing help to those in need.
Continuing her aim to lead others to God, Saint Catherine headed the convent founded by her mother.
Saint Catherine of Sweden, Katarina av Vadstena or Catherine of Vadstena (c. 1332 – 24 March 1381) has been called the patron saint of protection against abortion and miscarriage. Her father was Ulf Gudmarsson, Lord of Ulvåsa, and her mother was the better known Saint Birgitta (in their lifetime known as Birgitta Birgersdotter of Finsta).
At the age of about twelve or thirteen she married Lord Eggert van Kyren, a young half-Swedish, half-Westphalian nobleman, with whom she took a vow of celibacy. Catherine accompanied her mother to Rome in 1349, and soon upon arrival heard news of her husband's death. Catherine is said to have written a devotional work entitled Consolation of the Soul (in medieval Swedish Siælinna tröst, or Själens tröst in modern Swedish), a dated copy from 1407 is still in existence.
Before her death, Catherine became head of the Brigittine convent at Vadstena Abbey, which was founded by her mother. In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII gave permission for Catherine's veneration as a saint and her feast was assigned to 22 March in the Roman martyrology. St Catherine is generally represented with a hind at her side, which is said to have come to her aid when unchaste youths tried to rape her.
In 1488, Pope Innocent VIII gave permission for the translation of her relics in Vadstena. The beatification and canonization process (which also documented the required miracles) was never completed because of the Protestant reformation.