These two married saints can teach us how to seek sanctity within our families
St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) is known as the patron of her country and also one of the six patrons of Europe, along with Benedict of Nursia, Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Catherine of Siena, and Edith Stein.
She is the founder of the Brigittines, and known for her mystical experiences and prayers, many of which focus on the Passion of Christ.
She is also the mom of another saint, Catherine of Sweden (1330-1381).
Bridget and her husband had a 20-year happy marriage until his death, when she was in her 40s. They had eight children, four boys and four girls. Catherine was the second.
St. Catherine of Sweden was also married, but she and her husband lived in continence.
Mother and daughter braved the plague to make a pilgrimage to Rome in the Jubilee Year of 1350. They stayed there until the end of Bridget’s life, also making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and other pilgrimages from there.
One of the things St. Bridget is most known for is prayers to honor the number of blows that Jesus received during his Passion.
He revealed to her that he had received 5,480 blows.
“If you wish to honor them in some way, recite fifteen Our Fathers and fifteen Hail Marys with the following Prayers, which I Myself shall teach you, for an entire year. When the year is finished, you will have honored each of My Wounds,” he told her.
15 times 365 is 5,475.
These prayers became regular features in Books of Hours.
Bridget is celebrated July 23 and Catherine is celebrated March 24. While they make wonderful patronesses for mothers and daughters alike, St. Catherine is also called on for the avoidance of miscarriage and against abortion.