Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Birgitta of Sweden
Birgitta (Bridget) Birgerstotter was born in Sweden about 1303, daughter of the governor of the province of Uppland. As a child, she began to have dreams about the suffering of Christ. She was married at 13 to Ulf Gundarsson, son of the governor of the province of West Gotland. They had four offspring. In 1335, she became chief lady-in-waiting to the Queen of Sweden. In 1341, she and her husband made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, and on the return trip her husband Ulf Gudmursson fell ill and died soon after.
Birgitta began to live a more ascetic life. Her dreams and visions grew more frequent and vivid, and became more and more the focus of her life. She devoted her life to prayer, to assisting the poor and needy, and to speaking plainly to those in power. She mediated between warring rulers, and warned the Pope at Avignon that it was his duty to return to Rome (see Brigitta in Rome).
In 1351 she founded an order of both monks and nuns, to be governed by an abbess. The order, the Order of the Holy Savior, popularly called the Brigittines, spread through Europe, and was an important educational influence. Today, the Society of St. Birgitta (Birgittastiftelsen) in Sweden is a laypersons' society that seeks to carry on her work.
She is known for her Revelations, which are largely meditations on the Passion of Our Lord.
Propers for Birgitta of Sweden - Monastic and Mystic
The Collect -
O Lord, our God, Who through Thine only-begotten Son, didst reveal heavenly secrets to blessed Bridget, grant us, Thy servants, to rejoice and be glad in the revelation of Thine eternal glory. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. Amen.
The Epistle - 1 Timothy 5: 3-10
The Holy Gospel - St. Luke 7: 11-16