Bridget of Sweden

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Saint Bridget (Birgitta) of Sweden
Altarpiece in Salem church, Södermanland, Sweden (restored digitally)
BornDecember 15, 1303
Uppland, Sweden
Died23 July 1373
Rome, Papal States
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Lutheran Church
Canonized7 October 1391 by Pope Boniface IX
Major shrineVadstena Abbey
Feast23 July
8 October (General Roman Calendar of 1960)
7 October (Sweden)
AttributesPilgrim's hat, staff & bag; crown, writing-book.
PatronageEurope, Sweden, Widows

Bridget of Sweden, or Birgitta Birgersdotter (1303–1373), was a mystic and saint, and founder of the Bridgettines nuns and monks.

A few months before she was born, her mother was in a shipwreck. Many people died, but her mother was saved by the king's brother. In a dream the night after her rescue, she was told that she was saved because the child in her womb was very special, and was a gift from God. After Bridget was born, she wanted to live her life as a holy woman, but it was hard, because she was one of only two surviving children in her family. When she was 14 years old, she was forced to marry 18-year-old Ulf Gudmarsson. This was hard for her because she believed that staying a virgin would be the closest state to God.

After Ulf died, God sent a message to tell Bridget to come to Rome. That same year, Bridget packed up her bags and headed off to Rome, never to return to her hometown again. In 1370, Pope Urban V made her religious group official. She eventually became famous for helping to restoring the papacy in Rome.

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