Bridget of Sweden
Also known as
• Bridget of Vadstena
• Birgit of….
• Birgitta of….
• Bridgid of….
• Brigida of….
• 23 July
• formerly 8 October
Daughter of Birger Persson, the governor and provincial judge of Uppland, and of Ingeborg Bengtsdotter. Her father was one of the greatest landowners in the country, her mother was known widely for her piety, and the family were descendants of the Swedish royal house. Related to Saint Ingrid of Sweden.
Bridget began receiving visions, most of the Crucifixion, at age seven. Her mother died c.1315 when the girl was about twelve years old, and she was raised and educated by an equally pious aunt. In 1316, at age thirteen, Bridget wed prince Ulfo of Nercia in an arranged marriage. She was the mother of eight, including Saint Catherine of Sweden; some of the other children ignored the Church.
Friend and counselor to many priests and theologians of her day. Chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Blanche of Namur in 1335, from which position she counseled and guided the Queen and King Magnus II. After Ulfo’s death in 1344 following a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain she pursued a religious life, for which she was harassed by others at the court. She eventually renounced her title of princess. Franciscan tertiary. Cistercian. Mystic, visionary, and mystical writer. She recorded the revelations given her in her visions, and these became hugely popular in the Middle Ages.
Founded the Order of the Most Holy Savior (Bridgettines) at Vadstena, Sweden in 1346. It received confirmation by Pope Blessed Urban V in 1370, and survives today, though few houses remain. Pilgrim to Rome, to assorted Italian holy sites, and to the Holy Lands. Chastened and counseled kings and Popes Clement VI, Gregory XI, and Urban VI, urging each to return to Rome from Avignon. Encouraged all who would listen to meditate on the Passion, and of Jesus Crucified.
• 1302 or 1303 at Finsta Castle, Uppsala, Sweden
• 23 July 1373 at Rome, Italy of natural causes
• buried in 1374 at the Vadstena, Sweden convent she had founded
• 7 October 1391 by Pope Boniface IX
• abbess in Brigittine robes with a cross on her forehead, and holding a book and pilgrim‘s staff
• head and cross
• nun enthroned, with Christ above her and hell below, while she gives books to the emperor and kings
• nun giving a book to Saint Augustine
• nun in ecstasy before the crucifix with instruments of the Passion nearby
• nun reading, holding a cross, with builders in the background
• nun with a cross on her brow witnessing the Birth of Christ, which she saw in one of her visions