Friday, November 17, 2006
Saint Briget of Sweden
Bridget was born in Uppsala, Sweden. Her mother Ingeborg was a holy woman and her father Birger Persson, who had royal ancestors, was a rich landowner. He was also the governor and provincial judge of Uppland. From the time she was a child, Bridget received visions of Jesus.
When she was only ten, she saw 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.
Her mother died when she was twelve and she was brought up by her good aunt. When she was fourteen, she married eighteen-year-old prince Ulf of Nercia. 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 chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Blanche of Namur and she tried to help and guide King Magnus and the queen lead better lives. All her life, Bridget had visions and received special messages from God. She obeyed God's commands and visited many rulers, two popes, priests and other important people in the Church, humbly explaining what God wanted them to do.
After her husband died, Bridget put away her rich clothes and lived as a poor nun. This did not please the people at the king's court. 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 Jesus continued to reveal many secrets to her which she received with all humility.
Before she died, Bridget 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. She encouraged all who would listen to meditate on the Passion of Jesus Crucified. All St. Bridget's revelations on the sufferings of Jesus were published after her death.