St. Bridget (Birgitta) of Sweden was born in 1303 to pious parents who were related to Sweden’s reigning royal family. When Bridget was ten years old, her mother died. Bridget and her two siblings then went to live with her mother’s sister.
When Bridget was a girl, she dreamt of the Crucified Christ. He told her that His sufferings are caused by those who despise His love. The dream made a deep impression on young Bridget,
When Bridget was still in her early teen years, she married a young man named Ulf. The two of them had eight children, caring for whom was plenty enough, but in addition she was asked by her royal relations to serve at court as a lady in waiting, which she did for several years.
Bridget devoted time and energy to works of charity, especially single mothers in need of assistance.
In the year 1344 when Bridget was in her early 40s, her husband Ulf became ill and died. The mystical revelations she had experienced as a child increased in intensity after her husband died, and through them she heard God's prompting to establish a religious order for women, the Order of the Most Holy Saviour, which became known as the Brigettines (or Birgittines). in 1346 she responded to this God-given call by founding a religious house for men and women at Vadstena. Her daughter Catherine was the first Abbess.
She travelled to Rome to seek Papal approval for the Order, but never returned to Sweden. She spent the rest of her life as a pilgrim, a spiritual adviser to royalty and church leaders, and she ministered to any whom she came across who were in need. St. Bridget set out to accomplish many things in her life, but she didn’t live to see them come to fruition.
St. Bridget, patron saint of Sweden and of Europe, and has been referred to as the patron saint of failures! Ask for her intercession because of her virtue and her perseverance in her struggle with her own failures and disappointments.
O God, who guided Saint Bridget of Sweden along different paths of life
and wondrously taught her the wisdom of the Cross
as she contemplated the Passion of your Son,
grant us, we pray, that walking worthily in our vocation
we may seek you in all things,
through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.