Bridget of Sweden

Patroness of Sweden and co-patroness of Europe, Birgitta Birgersdotter was born in Finsta in 1303, into an aristocratic family. Happily married to Ulf Gudmarsson, she gave birth to eight children, one of whom was Saint Catherine of Sweden. With her husband, she studied the Scriptures, founded a small hospital and cared for the poor. Both made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Bridget became a widow in 1344. She increasingly felt God’s call and this led her to found the Order of the Most Holy Savior. In order to get the pope’s authorization, she moved to Rome, where she also worked hard to get the Pope back from Avignon. In 1372, she went to the Holy Land but upon her arrival in Jerusalem, she fell ill and, after returning to Rome, she died on 23 July 1373. She had many revelations from Jesus. They have been collected in eight volumes and include, among others the exact number of whiplashes received by Christ (5480) and a series of prayers that offer benefits and refer to the mystery of the passion of Jesus Christ. After the foundation of the first monastery in 1370, the Brigidine monasteries spread out to the whole of Europe.