St. Bridget of Sweden, Religious | Saint of the Day | July 23

Prayer to St. Bridget of Sweden, Religious

Lord God, You revealed heavenly secrets to St. Bridget as she meditated on the Passion of Your Son. Grant that we Your servants may attain the joyful contemplation of Your glory. Amen.

St. Bridget of Sweden, Religious

St. Bridget was the daughter of a royal Prince of Sweden, named Birger, and of Ingeburdis, a descendant of the Gothic Kings. From these pious parents she inherited a great love for the Passion of our Lord. Her father consecrated all Fridays to special acts of penance, and from her childhood St. Bridget loved to meditate upon the Passion of Christ. In obedience to her father, at the age of sixteen she married Ulfo, Prince of Nericia in Sweden, by whom she had eight children, the last of whom, Catherine, is now honored among the Saints.

Later the holy couple bound themselves by a vow of chastity and made a pilgrimage to Compostela in Galicia. On their return, Ulfo with his wife’s consent, entered a Cistercian monastery, where he died soon after in odor of sanctity. After his death St. Bridget renounced her rank of princess and changed her habit.

In 1344, Bridget built the great monastery of Wastein, which became the motherhouse of a new Order, that of the Brigittines. She next undertook a pilgrimage to Rome and to Palestine. Having satisfied her devotion at the holy places sanctified by the Life and Passion of our Redeemer, she returned to Rome, where she lived a year longer. She was afflicted by sickness, but endured it with heroic patience and resignation. Her son, Birger, and her daughter, Catherine, were with her in her last moments. She received the Last Sacraments and died in 1373. She was canonized in 1391 by Pope Boniface IX.