St. Lutgardis: patron of the blind and physically disabled
St. Lutgardis, a Cistercian, and one of the first mystics of the Sacred Heart.
St. Lutgardis is the patron saint of the blind and physically disabled people. Born in the 12th century, she came to her vocation, in part, due to her father’s bad business sense. Her father lost her dowry in a failed business venture and sent her to a Benedictine convent at the age of 12.
A few years later, she received a vision of Christ showing her his wounds, and at age 20 she became a Benedictine nun. Her visions continued and she is said to have levitated and dripped blood from her head when meditating on the Passion.
Seeking a stricter life, she joined the Cistercians and displayed the gifts of healing, prophecy, spiritual wisdom and teaching on the Gospels.
She accepted the blindness that afflicted her for the last 11 years of her life as a gift that helped reduce the distractions of the outside world. In her last vision, Christ told her when she was to die, the day after the Feast of the Holy Trinity, June 16, 1246. She was 64.
Other areas of patronage for St. Lutgardis include: childbirth, Flanders, Belgium.