Wednesday, July 23, 2008

St. Bridget of Sweden

Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303. From the time she was a child, she was greatly devoted to the passion of Jesus. When she was only ten, she seemed to see Jesus on the cross and hear him say, "Look at me, my daughter." "Who has treated you like this?" cried little Bridget. "They who despise me and refuse my love for them," answered Jesus. From then on, Bridget tried to stop people from offending Jesus. When she was fourteen, she married eighteen-year-old Ulf. Like Bridget, Ulf had set his heart on serving God. They had eight children, of whom one was St. Catherine of Sweden. Bridget and Ulf served the Swedish court. Bridget was the queen's personal maid. Bridget tried to help King Magnus and Queen Blanche lead better lives. For the most part, they did not listen to her. All her life, Bridget had marvelous visions and received special messages from God. In obedience to them, she visited many rulers and important people in the Church. She explained humbly what God expected of them. After her husband died, Bridget put away her rich clothes. She lived as a poor nun. Later, she started the order of the Most Holy Savior, also known as Bridgettines. She still kept up her own busy life, traveling about doing good everywhere. And through all this activity, Jesus continued to reveal many secrets to her. These she received without the least bit of pride. Shortly before she died, the saint went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. At the shrines there, she had visions of what Jesus had said and done in that place. All St. Bridget's revelations on the sufferings of Jesus were published after her death. St. Bridget died in Rome on July 23, 1373. She was proclaimed a saint by Pope Boniface IX in 1391. May Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world, grant us the grace to share in his passion through a deeper spirit of repentance. (From Saint of the Day)

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