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St Lydwine of Schiedam Paperback – July 1, 1979

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: T A N Books and Publishers, Inc. (July 1, 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895550873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895550873
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #505,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Charles-Marie-Georges Huysmans, whose pseudonym was J. K. Husymans, was born in 1848 at Paris, France. After suffering as a youth in the French Ministry, he subsequently began writing works of prose poetry, the first of which was published in 1874. He went on to author full-length novels that illustrated his remarkable wit and satirical writing style. Against Nature is his most well-known work. His other writing includes En Rade, Saint Lydwine of Schiedam, and L Oblat. J. K. Huysmans died in 1907 in Paris.

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
St. Lydwine (1380-1433) lived in Holland during the Great Schism, a time when the Church was racked and split by the presence of two antipopes. At the early age of 15, she broke a rib and took to her bed, where she remained the rest of her life. Her mysterious illness, at first thought to be of natural causes, was soon discovered to have supernatural origins. As the author states, "Like other Saints of her century, she gave herself in expiation for the souls in Purgatory, for the abominations of schism, for the excesses of clerks and monks, for the delinquencies of kigns and people; but besides this sacrifice, by which she undertook to atone for the sins committed from one end of the universe to the other, she also bore the burden of scapegoat for her own country."
According to the revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich, she was suffering voluntary expiation for the welfare of the Church. Her condition became so bad that at one time she had virtually come apart into three pieces - her body reflecting symbolically the condition of the Church. St. Lydwine, besides eating no food, was often wrapped in ecstacy and manifested numerous phenomena typical of mystics, most noticeable of which was a strong and delectable perfume. Her incredible story makes fascinating and inspiring reading because St. Lydwine ranks as one of the most heroic victim souls of all time. 252 pages, paperbound, imprimatur.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on July 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Lydwine was born in 1380, a time when Christendom was in chaos. Two men both claimed to be pope. The black death raged. In the east, the Mongol Tamarlame built a pyramid of 90,000 skulls and the Mongol hoards appeared poised to attack Europe. Old heresies were revived; new one bloomed.

Lydwine herself was a nobody, born into a family which had fallen on hard times. Her life as a young girl seemed very ordinary, except for once, when she mentioned to her mother that the statue of the Virgin had smiled at her. Did she, like Padre Pio, experience mystical visions even as a child?

At any rate, her life changed dramatically when she broke a rib ice skating at age fifteen. She was carried to her bed, and in that bed, and in great pain, she stayed for the rest of her life.

Why? Her illness is mysterious by modern standards. It's possible that the physicians brought to treat her may have done more harm than good. Or it may be that there was much more to the illness than has been described, or that God allowed her to suffer for others--certainly that was the case with her stigmata. At any rate, Lydwine was now to suffer agony such as few have ever lived through.

Lydwine flung herself upon God, praying ceaselessly even though God gave her no comfort at first, and she lived in nothingness except for the unending pain. Then came the moments, and even days, when she was in a state of ecstasy. She was always either in one extreme or the other.

She bilocated, had visions, could read souls, smelled of heavenly perfume, and ate nothing but the Eucharist.

After her death, her frail body which had been so tortured and so ugly, suddenly became as fresh and pretty as before the day when, at fifteen, she broke that rib. Her life is amazing and deserves to be better known.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laura on April 26, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a translation from three biographies written originally in Dutch - one by the saint's cousin, one by her confessor/mentor, and one by an official of the Church. In fact, all three biographers had ties to the Church and are considered to be quite reputable. Saint Lydwine lived from 1380-1433 and spent most of that time paralyzed in bed. According to Wikipedia and other sources, she was later diagnosed with the first recorded case of multiple sclerosis - although this is not covered in the book, which was published in 1923. Not only did Lydwine suffer from MS, but she also survived The Black Plague. Her tortures were extreme; how anyone could survive it is indeed miraculous.
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10 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Skowronski on April 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I read this book, I was hoping for a fascinating, aesthetic experience such as that which I found in the author's magnum opus, Against Nature; or a subtle character study, such as the author's novel La Bas; or the moving descriptions of medieval art and Catholic philosophy found in his En Route; or even the detailed Zolaesque analysis in his story "A Haven."
However, instead of aesthetic fantasia or Catholic revelation or surreal beauty, I was confronted with the most nauseating, the most repulsive, the most unappealing images ever to occur in the whole history of literature. St. Lydwine was afflicted with virtually every disease known to medieval man. I had to endure detailed descriptions of her vomiting buckets of pus, being covered in hideous oozing sores, bursting open, rotting, losing her arms, weeping tears of blood, losing an eye, getting pustules. . .must I go into detail? Suffice to say,I nearly fainted upon reading some of this.
And the squalid descriptions of St. Lydwine don't even serve a spiritual purpose in this particular recounting. In En Route, when Durtal talked about Lydwine (sans detailed descriptions), he emphasized the fact that she was expiating the sins of her fellow man, and then he went on to explain the phenomena and their mystical purpose. But here, Huysmans virtually ignores all of the higher symbolism that is inherent in Lydwine's suffering.
So, if you know Huysmans primarily as the Decadent creator of myriad beauties, don't read this book; it contains the most ugly and repulsive images I've ever read. And if you know Huysmans primarirly as a forceful spokesman for the sublimity of Catholicism, don't read this book; it lacks spirituality, and you can greater understand this saint by reading the infinitely more beautiful En Route.
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