Tuesday 20th August 2019

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Bridget

July 18, 2019 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

One of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s most quoted sayings would fit with this column’s saint, “God hasn’t called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” What encouraging words for anyone seeking to do God’s will, knowing that the cross, the setbacks, and the obstacles are all part of working for the Kingdom of God. St. Bridget of Sweden experienced all of these in her lifetime.
St. Bridget, a descendant of Swedish royalty, was born on June 13, 1303, in the province of Uppland, north of Stockholm on the Baltic Sea. Her father, Birger Persson, came from the Finsta family, which possessed great wealth and influence. Birger acted as governor and judge while being one of the wealthiest landowners in Sweden. Her mother, Ingeborg Bengtsdotter, was descended from royalty. She was also related to St. Ingrid.
Both parents were pious Catholics, ensuring that their children were brought up strong in the faith. At the age of seven, Bridget experienced her first vision: The Blessed Virgin Mary placed a crown on her head. When she was ten she received another vision as if in a dream, this one of the suffering Jesus or one she called the Man of Sorrows. When she asked our Lord who did that to Him, He responded, “All those who despise my love.” These two experiences left a lasting impression on the young girl.
When Bridget’s parents made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, her mother fell ill and died. Bridget at only ten years old, her younger sister Katherine at nine years old, and a newborn baby boy named Israel were left without a mother. A loving aunt took the children into her home and raised them with a similar strong Catholic upbringing.
Several years later at the age of 14, Bridget was married to a nobleman, Ulf Gudmarsson, lord of Narke, from Ulvasa. He was 18. During their 28 years of marriage they had eight children, two of whom died in infancy. Four sons died at young ages, some of them in the Crusades. One daughter grew up and became St. Karin or St. Katherine of Sweden.
As Ulf’s wife, and having suffered the loss of some children, Bridget well understood the difficulties of bearing and raising children. She felt called by God to serve the unfortunate unwed mothers and to help them, dedicating both her wealth and her time to this endeavor. However, she was soon called away from this work.
Around 1336, Magnus II, the king of Sweden, called Bridget to court to serve his new wife, teaching the queen the language and customs of Sweden. While at court, Bridget had great influence over the king because of her intelligence, compassion, and holiness.
A few years later, she received permission to make a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, in northwest Spain — a pilgrimage popular to this day. She and her husband made the long journey to the holy site, but as they made their way back to Sweden, Ulf fell dangerously ill in Arras, France. For long hours, Bridget sat by his bedside begging our Lord to spare his life. St. Denis, the patron of France, appeared to her and assured that Ulf would recover.
He did recover, and they continued the journey back to Alvastra, Sweden, where he continued his work as chief of the district court in Narke. However, shortly after their return, he fell ill again. Despite her long vigil of prayer and nursing, he died at Alvastra monastery where he was buried. Bridget mourned his loss deeply, spending many hours by his graveside, praying for the repose of his soul. “I loved him like my own body,” she wrote.
After his death, she returned home to organize her various charitable endeavors and attend to the care of her children who were older by that time. For many hours she prayed for enlightenment and courage to know and do God’s will. At the end of 1344, at the age of 41 while staying in the Alvastra abbey, she heard God’s call to “be my bride and my canal.”
Under the guidance of four men, Nicolaus Hermanni, bishop of Linköping; Matthias, his canon; Peter, the prior of Alvastra; and Peter Magister, she discerned that she should found a new order. In another vision she received instructions on how to build the church, the design of the clothing the members would wear, as well as the rules for living, and the prayers to be recited.
With her husband gone, Bridget joined the Third Order of Franciscans and dedicated her time to both prayer and caring for the poor as did her father in Christ, St. Francis of Assisi. Her spiritual poverty and love for Christ opened her heart and soul to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The seeds of the new order began to grow.
In time she established the new order known as the Order of the Most Holy Savior, more commonly called the Bridgettines. In 1346, King Magnus IV of Sweden and his queen provided funds for the building of the motherhouse and monastery in Vadstena.
A unique feature of the grounds included both men and women living in separate monasteries but in the same community. Another rule observed was the care of the poor and marginalized citizens. All funds except those used for basic necessities were to be given to the poor. The only extra possessions allowed were books.
In 1349, seeking a larger sphere for the Lord’s work, Bridget went to Rome. The mission she sought was to bring a moral uplifting badly needed in the period, as well as approval for her order. Except for pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Bridget spent the rest of her life in Rome.
While there, like St. Catherine of Siena, she urged the Pope to return to Rome rather than reside in Avignon. She also sought approval of her order, but only received confirmation of the rule of her congregation in August 1370, from Pope Urban V.
Her greatest influence remained in the work she did. With a spiritual foundation in prayer, she admonished the sinners with gentleness but firmness. Her lifestyle also set a precedent eagerly followed by both men and women in Sweden.
She died in Rome on July 23, 1373, a worn-out woman far from her Swedish home. Her feast day is July 23. Although she yearned to become a nun, she remained a Third Order Franciscan. Even though she struggled to bring peace between France and England, that goal was never realized. Despite the fact that she did persuade the Pope to return to Rome from Avignon, he later returned to Avignon. Nor did she ever see the completed monastery in Vadstena.
Her crowning glory was that she did what she believed was the will of God, recording her prayers and visions as instructed. Although her prayers were approved for general recitation, none of the promises associated with them were ever approved by Rome.
Dear St. Bridget, led by your example, may we always find time for prayer. Like you, may we say, “Thy will be done,” not counting the cost. Amen.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Load More...

German archbishop in Auschwitz: Stand up against hubris of the politically powerful

Krakow, Poland, Aug 14, 2019 / 02:31 pm (CNA).- On the eve of the 80th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, a German archbishop has called for a stand against hubris and arrogance of those in political power. Speaking…Continue Reading

Vatican ‘struggling to put out fire’ of public scandal over JPII Institute purge

ROME, August 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The “firefighters for the new direction” being taken at the John Paul II Institute in Rome are “struggling” to put out a blaze of public scandal, as controversy sparked by a recent purge of professors threatens to reach the door of the Pope’s…Continue Reading

Survey on Catholic belief in the Eucharist prompts calls for better catechesis

Washington D.C., Aug 10, 2019 / 03:32 pm (CNA).- After a recent survey found that two-thirds of Catholics do not believe Church teaching about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, Catholic commenters are stressing the importance of better…Continue Reading

Apple News bans LifeSite without warning: says it ‘shows intolerance’

July 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A little over one week ago, Apple approved LifeSiteNews’ application to publish our news on their Apple News platform. Today, without warning, Apple News abruptly reversed course, telling LifeSite that they had deleted our channel and all…Continue Reading

Kamala Harris’ “Medicare for All” Plan Will Force Americans to Fund Abortions

Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris released her own Medicare-for-all proposal today. Just like the proposal handed down by pro-abortion presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Harris’s plan would force Americans to fund abortions. Harris confirms her plan will cover abortions in an…Continue Reading

Pew report: Only half of America’s Catholics know what the Church teaches about Communion

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) ― Do only half of America’s Catholics know what their Church teaches about Holy Communion? In a recent report called “What Americans Know About Religion,” the Pew Research Center suggested that Catholics are divided…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Businessman Michael Lindell, Creator of MyPillow, May Run Against Pro-Abortion Ilhan Omar

Michael Lindell is a pro-life businessman and the creator of MyPillow, a successful invention and company in its own right. Lindell was responsible for helping to fund production of the popular movie “Unplanned,” but now he’s turning his attention to…Continue Reading

Tucker Carlson: big business is now at war against your family

July 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The first thing to note about Tucker Carlson is that when he’s on stage and riffing on his irritations, he is hilarious. He began his keynote speech at the National Conservatism conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday…Continue Reading

Teacher sues Catholic school for firing her over pro-abortion posts on social media

BERKELEY COUNTY, South Carolina, July 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A former teacher filed a wrongful termination suit against a South Carolina Catholic school that fired her for championing legal abortion on social media in violation of long-settled, well-known Catholic doctrine.…Continue Reading

Bombshell Claim: Scientists Find “Man-made Climate Change Doesn’t Exist In Practice”

A new scientific study could bust wide open deeply flawed fundamental assumptions underlying controversial climate legislation and initiatives such as the Green New Deal, namely, the degree to which ‘climate change’ is driven by natural phenomena vs. man-made issues measured as…Continue Reading

Cineplex explains decision to screen Abby Johnson’s ‘Unplanned’ in Canada

July 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The pro-life film Unplanned, which tells the true story of pro-life activist Abby Johnson’s conversion from the abortion industry, will be shown in Canada after all thanks to a decision by film distributor Cineplex. Unplanned tells the…Continue Reading

Viganò criticizes Pope Francis’ handling of abuse allegations

Vatican City, Jul 5, 2019 / 02:47 pm (CNA).- Recently published remarks from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano take aim at two situations described by the former nuncio as “allegations of offenses against minors during Pope Francis’ tenure.” In fact, in…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Trump rule to nix Obama order forcing religious contractors to hire LGBT workers

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump administration is proposing a rule that would permit government contractors to make employment decisions that are consistent with their sincerely held religious tenets and beliefs, without fear of sanction by the federal government. If adopted, the rule would reverse an Obama-era executive order that restricted religious federal contractors’ ability to consider employees’ adherence to their faith on matters of sexuality and gender. In 2014, former President Ba

Cardinal Pell: ‘Amazon or no Amazon, the Church cannot allow any confusion’

Melbourne, Australia, Aug 9, 2019 / 08:36 am (CNA).- Cardinal George Pell has written a letter thanking supporters for their prayers and saying he is “disturbed” by the preparations for the forthcoming synod on the Amazon. The text of the two-page, handwritten letter – images of which were shared with CNA and confirmed by sources close to Pell – has been circulated amongst a group of Pell’s closest supporters in Australia. In the letter, dated from…Continue Reading

Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke weighs in on 2020 Dems, calls out Biden, Harris

Cburke3

Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke weighed in on the field of 2020 Democratic candidates and how some who describe themselves as Roman Catholics conflict with the religion. “I’ve had non-Catholic leaders of government in this nation tell me that they were certain that the Catholic teaching on abortion and so-called same-sex marriage have changed because so many Catholics on Capitol Hill are regularly supporting this kind of legislation. And that’s a scandal,” Cardinal Burke said in an exclusive interview on Fox News’ “The…Continue Reading

Three Wisconsin lawmakers take aim at the confessional

MADISON, Wis. — Catholic priests would be required to report suspected child abuse or the sexual abuse of a minor based on information heard during the Sacrament of Penance under legislation proposed August 7th by a trio of Democrat state lawmakers. Legislation introduced by Reps. Chris Taylor and Melissa Sargent of Madison, and Sen. Lena Taylor of Milwaukee, would eliminate protection that exists in state law for information priests hear solely “in a confessional setting”…Continue Reading

In his first public statement, Washington’s new Catholic archbishop slams Trump for ‘diminishing our national life’

Washington’s new Catholic leader — the country’s lone black archbishop — on Thursday issued his first public statement since his installation, accusing President Trump of “diminishing our national life” with his recent tweets about lawmakers of color. Wilton Gregory, who came to Washington in May, is known through his long, prominent career for being nonconfrontatio

Advertisement(2)

China’s Human Rights Sham

By JOHN J. METZLER PARIS — It’s never polite to question the deteriorating human rights situation in China, but let’s do it anyway. The hidden and systematic repression of ethnic Uighur Muslims in China’s western Xinjiang province and the high-profile crackdown on pro-demonstrators in Hong Kong, many of them Christian, are both rooted in the…Continue Reading

Wisconsin Lawmaker Lies About Catholic League

By BILL DONOHUE (Editor’s Note: Catholic League President Bill Donohue commented as follows August 14 on Wisconsin state legislator Chris Taylor’s attack on the League.) + + + Having co-authored a bill that would require Catholic priests to violate the seal of the confessional, Rep. Chris Taylor distorts the Catholic League’s opposition to this bill…Continue Reading

China, Not Russia, The Greater Threat

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Ten weeks of protests, some huge, a few violent, culminated August 13 with a shutdown of the Hong Kong airport. Ominously, Beijing described the violent weekend demonstrations as “deranged” acts that are “the first signs of terrorism,” and vowed a merciless crackdown on the perpetrators. China is being pushed toward a…Continue Reading

Cicero On Old Age

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Marcus Tulius Cicero, philosopher orator, statesman completed De Senectute (On Old Age), one of many books, in July 44 B.C. Dedicated to Cato the Elder, the book addresses “the common burden of old age.” A beloved author through the ages, Cicero lived from 106 B.C. until he was murdered in 43 B.C.…Continue Reading

French Language Under Assault From English

By JOHN J. METZLER PARIS — A long linguistic battle between French and English appears to have been settled: English won. Some twenty-five years after passage of legislation to specifically defend use of the French language, and protect its patrimony throughout the land, what’s known as the Toubon law has become a quaint footnote. The…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Spiritual Materialism Cannot Save Your Soul

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Some call it cafeteria Catholic. It manifests itself as a demand to take one thing Christ handed down in the Church while rejecting others likewise handed down. The Eucharist is the Real Presence of the Lord and it is thus the source and summit of our faith. The sight of the faithful going forward at…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Regarding a recent discussion in this column of Communism and socialism, and the sway that these collectivist ideologies hold over many Democrat politicians today, D.M. of Virginia sent along an excerpt from Whittaker Chambers’ 1952 book Witness that accurately describes the nature of Communism and its impact on the world over the past century, when its practitioners caused…Continue Reading

Pope Benedict XVI . . . The Legacy Of John Paul II On Marriage And Family

(Editor’s Note: Below is the address of Pope Benedict XVI to members of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family on the occasion of the institute’s twenty-fifth anniversary. Pope Benedict delivered this historic address on May 11, 2006 in the Hall of Blessings. (Following the address are some quotations from John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio,…Continue Reading

Live Truth In Charity

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twentieth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Jer. 38:4-6, 8-10 Heb. 12:1-4 Luke 12:49-53 In the Gospel reading today, Jesus says something quite startling. The Prince of Peace said: “Do you think I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” The division Jesus speaks of is about…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Thou Shalt Not Kill

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Violence — whether perpetrated by means of a gun or any other weapon — and the anger and hatred which give rise to it do not have a color. The victims do: They come from a variety of backgrounds of various races, religions, and languages. This week the funerals of the slain continued. There is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Mariam Baouardy

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Bible, there are numerous references to Galilee with about 80 in just the New Testament. Galilee is an area in northern Israel and it includes the city of Nazareth, Mt. Tabor, and the site of the Sermon on the Mount. In John 1:46. Nathaniel responds to Philip, who told him of Jesus, “Can anything good…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By CAROLE BRESLIN Now that the school year is about to begin, students — especially Catholic students — will find recourse to their favorite patron saint of studying. Some may choose St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine of Hippo. For those students who find it difficult to retain what they read and write about it, perhaps this saint will encourage…Continue Reading