Saint of the Day

July 23

Saint Bridget of Sweden

Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303. Her father was governor of the main province of Sweden and her mother was the daughter of a governor. Throughout her life, Bridget received visions and dreams and possessed gifts of prophecy and healing.

After her mother's death in 1314, Bridget lived with an aunt. She married at 13, bore eight children and lived happily until her husband's death in 1344. After his death, Bridget moved near a Cistercian monastery where she lived a penitential life. Seeking papal approval to create a new religious community, she moved to Rome and lived a life of prayer and penitence there for nearly 20 years. She founded the Bridgettine Order in 1370, and it originally included both men and women, although today it is for women only. Bridget died in 1373, while returning to Rome from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. She is patroness of Sweden and co-patroness of Europe, with St Catherine of Siena and St Edith Stein (Teresa Benedicta of the Cross).

©2011 Living with Christ, Novalis - Bayard Press Canada Inc., Reprinted with permission.