St. Bridget was born in 1303 to a wealthy family in Uppland, Sweden and experienced religious visions as a child. She lost her mother when she was 12 years old and was married by the age of 13 to an aristocrat who shared Bridget’s religious devotion. Bridget had eight children of her own and became known for her charitable works. By the age of 40, Bridget became a practicing ascetic and partook in voluntary abstinence from food, and once again began experiencing mystical visions, notably the Nativity of Jesus. She claims to have had about 600 visions in total. Bridget recorded some of her later visions, and after her death they circulated around Europe. After the death of her husband, she founded a religious order known as the Brigittines. Saint Bridget of Sweden is one of the few Roman Catholic saints from Scandinavia and has been called the “Mystic of the North.” In 1999, Bridget was named one the patron saints of Europe by Pope John Paul II. Her feast day is July 23.
Questions for Reflection:
- Suffering is a part of life. How can we turn to God during times of loss and help others through times of grief?
- What practices or activities should we abstain from in order to grow closer to God?