Lidwina was born in Holland, on April 18, 1380. She was one of nine children. Her father was a laborer. When she was 15, she was ice skating when she fell and broke a rib. She never recovered and became progressively disabled for the rest of her life. From then on, she developed walking difficulties, headaches, and violent pains in her teeth. By the age of 19, both her legs were paralyzed and her vision was disturbed. She became paralyzed except for her left hand and that great pieces of her body fell off, and that blood poured from her mouth, ears, and nose. Today, some people think Saint Lidwina is one of the first known people with multiple sclerosis.
After her fall, Lidwina fasted continuously and became known as a healer and holy woman. A guard was set around her to test her fasts. The town officials documented her complete lack of food and sleep. At first, she ate a little piece of apple, then a bit of date and watered wine, then river water contaminated with salt from the tides. They also documented she shed skin, bones, and parts of her intestines, which her parents kept in a vase and which gave off a sweet odor. This drew so much attention Lidwina had her mother bury them. Lidwina was given credit for many acts of curing and charity. She provided food and nourishment to the needy that miraculously multiplied and lasted longer than expected.
Lidwina died at the age of 53 on April 14, 1433.