- July 23 -

St. Bridget of Sweden Feast Day

Bridget of Sweden (1303 – 23 July 1373; also Birgitta of Vadstena, Saint Birgitta (Swedish: den heliga Birgitta or Birgitta Birgersdotter), was a mystic and saint, and founder of the Bridgettines nuns and monks after the death of her husband of twenty years. She was also the mother of Catherine...

St. Bridget of Sweden Feast Day

Bridget of Sweden (1303 – 23 July 1373; also Birgitta of Vadstena, Saint Birgitta (Swedish: den heliga Birgitta or Birgitta Birgersdotter), was a mystic and saint, and founder of the Bridgettines nuns and monks after the death of her husband of twenty years. She was also the mother of Catherine of Vadstena.
She is one of the six patron saints of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia, Saints Cyril and Methodius, Catherine of Siena and Edith Stein.
Bridget was the daughter of a wealthy governor who used his riches generously. He donated money for good causes and helped the poor. He worked for the just and fair treatment of all the people. Bridget learned these lessons early in her life.
Bridget married into the Swedish royal family and lovingly raised eight children. She and her husband followed her father’s example of caring for people in need. It is said that she even arranged for a hospital to be built on their estate. The hospital was open to all.
When her husband died, Bridget gave away all her possessions. She founded a double monastery for men and women who lived apart, but worshipped together.
When Bridget learned of an epidemic in Rome, she made a pilgrimage there to assist the sick and dying. While in Rome, she spoke out against the injustices she saw and worked to change situations that kept all people from living a good life. Her words and actions influenced government and Church officials, even the pope!
Bridget made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to see the places where Jesus taught, died, and rose from the dead. During her pilgrimage Bridget experienced Christ’s presence in prayer visions.
Bridget died after she returned to Rome, but her body was returned to her land and the people she loved and cared for. Her coffin was carried reverently through Europe to Sweden. She is buried at the monastery she founded.
Because of her holiness, Bridget was declared a saint only eighteen years after her death in 1373. She is the patron saint of Sweden. In 1999, Pope John Paul II honored her once more. St. Bridget was named co-patron saint of all of Europe along with St. Catherine of Siena and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, who was known as Edith Stein in life.
Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridget_of_Sweden
http://rclweb.com/resources/2009/07/23/st-bridget-of-sweden-feast-day-%E2%80%94-july-23/

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