Saint Bridget of Sweden

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Bridget of Sweden, St (d. 1373). Founder of the Brigittines. She experienced visions (whose content she dictated to the abbot of a nearby monastery), one of which commanded her to found the Order of the Most Holy Saviour, later known as Brigittines. The Order followed the Augustinian rule, and was organized in parallel communities of women and men. It flourished until the Reformation, but was banished from Sweden in 1595. It was reintroduced to Sweden in 1923. Bridget was canonized in 1391.

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Saint Bridget of Sweden, c.1300–1373, Swedish nun, one of the great saints of Scandinavia. She was a noblewoman at court and the mother of eight children. After her husband's death she founded (1346) the Order of the Most Holy Savior (the Brigettines). In 1349 she went to Rome, where she founded hospices for pilgrims, the poor, and the sick. She labored for the reform of religious life in Italy and for the return of the pope from Avignon to Rome. Her account of her numerous visions was widely read during the Middle Ages. St. Bridget is patron of Sweden. She is also called Birgitta. Feast: July 23 (formerly Oct. 8).

See biography by J. Jorgensen (2 vol., tr. 1954).