Bridget of Sweden

Bridget of Sweden

Catholic saint, founder of the Order of Brigitte, patroness of Europe
Country: Italy

  1. Biography of Saint Bridget of Sweden
  2. Early Visions and Desire to Serve God
  3. Unconventional Upbringing and Acts of Charity
  4. Founding of the Bridgettine Order

Biography of Saint Bridget of Sweden

Saint Bridget of Sweden, also known as Birgitta, was a Catholic saint and the founder of the Bridgettine Order. She is also considered the patron saint of Europe. Born in 1303 (exact date unknown), Bridget was the daughter of Birger Persson, a member of the royal council and a prominent landowner. Her mother, Ingeborg Bengtsdotter, was a distant relative of the royal family. Unfortunately, Ingeborg passed away when Bridget was still a young child, and she was sent to live with her aunt.

 Bridget of Sweden

Early Visions and Desire to Serve God

During her time with her aunt, Bridget experienced her first visions. At the age of seven, she had a vision of the Virgin Mary crowning her, and at ten, she had her first vision of the crucified Christ. From a young age, Bridget desired to dedicate her life to serving God in a women's monastery. However, her father had different plans and arranged for her to marry Ulf Gudmarsson. Together, they had eight children – four daughters and four sons.

Unconventional Upbringing and Acts of Charity

Bridget had unconventional views on raising her children for the time. She never physically punished them but instead rewarded them when they did something good. In her castle, Bridget also provided shelter to numerous women who had been rejected by society, such as unmarried women with children. As a relative of the king, she frequently visited the royal court.

Founding of the Bridgettine Order

Following a pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint James in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Ulf fell ill and passed away in the Alvastra Monastery in 1344. Bridget remained at the monastery for some time. It was there that she received more visions, some of which predicted future events. These visions garnered significant interest from her contemporaries, leading to the publication of a collection of visions.

In one of her visions, Bridget was instructed to establish a new religious order. King Magnus Eriksson granted her land in Vadstena for a women's monastery, but it took several years to obtain papal permission. Unfortunately, Bridget did not live to see the completion of the monastery's construction. She passed away on July 23, 1373, after yet another pilgrimage.