Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Catharine of Sweden, Virgin

statue of Saint Catherine of Sweden, date unknown, artist unknown; Kloster Altomünster, Dachau, Bavaria, Germany; photographed on 25 April 2012 by GFreihalter; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

She was daughter of Ulpho, prince of Nericia in Sweden, and of Saint Bridget. The love of God seemed almost to prevent in her the use of her reason. At seven years of age she was placed in the nunnery of Risburgh, and educated in piety under the care of the holy abbess of that house. Being very beautiful, she was, by her father, contracted in marriage to Egard, a young nobleman of great virtue: but the virgin persuaded him to join with her in making a mutual vow of perpetual chastity. By her discourses he became desirous only of heavenly graces, and, to draw them down upon his soul more abundantly, he readily acquiesced in the proposal. The happy couple, having but one heart and one desire, by a holy emulation excited each other to prayer, mortification, and works of charity. After the death of her father, Saint Catharine, out of devotion to the passion of Christ, and to the relics of the martyrs, accompanied her mother in her pilgrimages and practices of devotion and penance. After her death at Rome, in 1373, Catharine returned to Sweden, and died abbess of Vadzstena, or Vatzen, on the 24th of March, in 1381. For the last twenty-five years of her life she every day purified her soul by a sacramental confession of her sins. Her name stands in the Roman Martyrology on the 22nd of March. See her life written by Ulpho, a Brigittine friar, thirty years after her death, with the remarks of Henschenius.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Catharine of Sweden, Virgin”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 August 2018. Web. 20 September 2021. <>