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And today we celebrate...

Thursday, July 23
Saint of the Day: St. Bridget of Sweden

One of the Patron Saints of Europe

BRIDGET OF SWEDEN
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Widow, Mother, and Founder of the Order of the Most Holy Savior (1302-1373)

Her life

+ Bridget (or Birgitta) was born in Finster, Sweden. At the age of sixteen she married and eventually had eight children. Her youngest child, Catherine, is also honored as a saint.

+ After a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint James in Compostela, Bridget’s husband decided to enter a Cistercian monastery. Bridget eventually renounced her noble title and wealth and built a monastery in Wastein which became the motherhouse of the Order of the Most Holy Savior (the “Brigittines”).

+ Bridget later went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Rome, where she died in 1373.

+ Honored as a gifted mystic, Saint Bridget was canonized in 1391. She is honored as the patron saint of Sweden and as one of the patron saints of Europe.

For prayer and reflection

In declaring her Co-Patroness of Europe, Pope John Paul II hoped that St Bridget — who lived in the 14th century when Western Christianity had not yet been wounded by division — may intercede effectively with God to obtain the grace of full Christian unity so deeply longed for.”—Pope Benedict XVI

Vocations

To more about the Sisters of St. Birgitta: http://www.birgittines-us.com/

To learn about the Brigittine monks of Our Lady of Consolation Priory: www.brigittine.org

Spiritual Bonus

On December 8, 1881, Venerable Francis Mary Jordan and two companions pronounced religious vows in the chapel of Saint Bridget (built in the room where she died) in the Brigittine Monastery in Rome’s Piazza Farnese. This marked the beginning of the Apostolic Teaching Society which later became the religious community known as the Society of the Divine Savior (the “Salvatorians”).

Prayer

O God, who guided Saint Bridget of Sweden
along different paths of life
and wondrously taught her the wisdom of the Cross
as she contemplated the Passion of your Son,
grant us, we pray,
that, walking worthily in our vocation,
we may seek you in all things.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
(from The Roman Missal)

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