Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Catherine of Sweden (1331–1381)

Saint Catherine of Sweden (1331–1381)

Patron saint of women suffering miscarriages; against abortions

Feast day: March 24

Saint Catherine of Sweden was one of eight children. Her mother was Saint Bridget of Sweden. She entered into an arranged marriage at the age of 13 to a religious German noble. On their wedding night, both Catherine and her husband took vows of chastity. The couple spent their years together performing works of charity.

After becoming a widow, Catherine traveled to Rome to spend time with her devout mother. The two women made many pilgrimages, including one to the Holy Land, ministered to the poor, and lived lives guided by prayer and meditation. While in Rome, Catherine formed a deep friendship with Saint Catherine of Siena. When Catherine's mother passed away, Catherine brought her body back to Sweden to be laid to rest at the convent of the Order of the Holy Savior, the community her mother had founded.

Catherine became superior of the order and, through her life and writings, influenced its development according to the Rule established by Saint Bridget. The requirements for Catherine's canonization were completed but the actual canonization was prevented by the Protestant Reformation. However, Catherine is honored as a saint by both the Catholic Church and the Church of Sweden.   

(Image in public domain-70)