Catherine of Sweden was born in 1322. She was the daughter of Saint Bridget of Sweden and Ulf Gudmarson and belongs to the Swedish royal family. Catherine received her education in the Cistercian convent in Risberg, where she wanted to become a nun. However, obeying the will of her father, she married the knight Edgar Lydersson at the age of thirteen. He was handicapped and the young woman would take care of him until his death. Catherine presented him with her desire to remain a virgin for the Lord, which her husband accepted, so she would have no children.
In 1344 Catherine's father died. With her husband's permission, she left for Rome in 1349 to join her mother, who took care of various charities. When she learned of her husband's death, Catherine decided to stay in Rome. Together with her mother, she led a life of holiness: they visited the sick and lived in prayer and poverty. When her mother Brigitte died in 1373, Catherine brought her body back to Sweden to be buried in the convent of the Brigittines of Vadstena, Catherine became abbess of the convent. Two years later, Catherine felt called to return to Rome to ask the pope for recognition of the Order of Brigittines and the canonization of her founder, Brigitte of Sweden. She would meet with the pope and work for the recognition of her mother's holiness. Catherine of Sweden died in 1381 at the convent of Vadstena three years after her mother, Brigitte of Sweden, was proclaimed holy. Catherine's process of beatification and canonization would never be completed. Pope Innocent VIII proclaimed her a saint in 1484, adding her to the catalogue of saints. She is the patroness of pregnant women and intercedes especially for high-risk pregnancies and protects from miscarriages. Saint Catherine of Sweden is celebrated on March 24th.
Saint Catherine of Sweden wrote a book of devotionals entitled Consolation of the Soul.
Prayer to Saint Catherine of Sweden for pregnant women:
May you, O God, make me find in Saint Catherine of Sweden a powerful and charitable advocate with you to divert from me the misfortune that threatens me. May she lead me, by her protection, safe and sound through danger, that the glory of your name may shine forth, and that I may bless you eternally, O my God. We pray to you by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Saint Catherine of Sweden, whose protection is felt by the mothers who invoke you, pray for us.