St Bridget of Sweden, born Birgitta, was a Swedish mystic and religious Order foundress who lived in the 1300s and was gifted with special visions from Jesus Christ. She had a double vocation, first being married and having eight children, and then, after her husband’s death, founding an Order.
What is St Bridget of Sweden the patron saint of?
St Bridget is the patron saint of Sweden, Europe, and widows.
St Bridget of Sweden, born Birgitta, was a Swedish mystic and religious Order foundress who lived in the 1300s and was gifted with special visions from Jesus Christ.
Birgitta Birgersdotter was born in 1303 to Birger Petersson and his wife, Ingeborg, a faithful and pious couple.
When Birgitta was ten, her mother died, and she and her siblings went to live with their aunt.
At this time, Birgitta received her first vision from Christ, seeing Him in His bitter Passion.
She asked Him who had done this to Him, and Jesus said: All those who spurn me and despise my love.
Birgitta was married at 13 years of age to Ulf Gudmarsson, a common practice in the Middle Ages. They had eight children together.
Birgitta’s family’s clan was the same as the royal family of Sweden, and King Magnus Eriksson asked Birgitta to train his queen in the customs of their country.
She did so, and after this period ended, Birgitta and her husband made the pilgrimage of St James to Santiago di Compostela, but Ulf grew sick on the return journey.
Ulf recovered miraculously, but in 1344 he became ill again and died.
She ensured her children were provided for and heard the call from God to be His bride in religious life.
Jesus revealed to her how her Order, the Order of the Most Holy Savior (now the Bridgettines), should be established and that it would bring new life to the Church.
Before Bridget could finalize setting up their first monastery, Jesus told her to go to Rome and get Pope Gregory XI to leave France and return to Rome. (God sent both St Bridget and St Catherine of Siena on this mission, which was eventually successful, but only after St Bridget’s death.)
Bridget died in July, 1373, and did not see her efforts come to fruition. Nonetheless, she was ever faithful to Christ’s commands and thus fulfilled her mission.
St Bridget was canonized in 1391. Her feast day is July 23.