St Bridget of Sweden

23Jul12

[Saint Bridget of Sweden]

 

 

Daughter of Birger Persson, the governor and provincial judge of Uppland, and of Ingeborg Bengtsdotter. Her father was one of the greatest landowners in the country, her mother was known widely for her piety, and the family were descendants of the Swedish royal house. Related to SaintIngrid of Sweden.

Bridget began receiving visions, most of the Crucifixion, at age seven. Her motherdied c.1315 when the girl was about twelve years old, and she was raised and educated by an equally pious aunt. In 1316, at age thirteen, Bridget wed prince Ulfo of Nercia in an arranged marriage. She was the mother of eight, including SaintCatherine of Sweden; some of the other children ignored the Church.

Friend and counselor to many priests and theologians of her day. Chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Blanche of Namur in 1335, from which position she counseled and guided the Queen and King Magnus II. After Ulfo’s death in 1344 following a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain she pursued a religious life, for which she was harassed by others at the court. She eventually renounced her title of princess. Franciscantertiary. Cistercian. Mystic, visionary, and mysticalwriter. She recorded the revelations given her in her visions, and these became hugely popular in the Middle Ages.

Founded the Order of the Most Holy Savior (Bridgettines) at Vadstena, Sweden in 1346. It received confirmation by PopeBlessedUrban V in 1370, and survives today, though few houses remain. Pilgrim to Rome, to assorted Italian holy sites, and to the Holy Lands. Chastened and counseled kings and PopesClement VI, Gregory XI, and Urban VI, urging each to return to Rome from Avignon. Encouraged all who would listen to meditate on the Passion, and of Jesus Crucified.

** St Bridget of Sweden is a patron of Europe with other saints newly included; St Benedict, St Cyril, St Methodius, St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross and St Catherine of Sienna



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