Wednesday, November 3, 2010

St. Bridget of Sweden (1303 to July 23, 1373)

   There's a chance that I am the only person in the world with an unused ticket for an audience with the Pope. Back when I was in my twenties, I had to obtain permission letters from priests, the bishop, and the head of my diocese and I still could have been rejected. But, I did receive a coveted ticket for a Wednesday morning audience with Pope John Paul II which was scheduled during my second trip to Europe.
  As I mentioned in my blog in April, the night before the event, I was whisked away to Frascati, Italy by a man I had met that evening as I walked down the Via Condotti in Rome (read about it here). I stayed out all night and overslept.
  At the time, I could care less that I missed a Papal blessing. I remember my mother's disappointment when she found out. Now, I often wonder what the experience would have offered.
  Last week, Pope Benedict XVI dedicated his audience to St. Bridget of Sweden, in part, for being a pious wife and mother.  She was a mystic born in Sweden in 1303.
  St. Bridget of Sweden married a man named Ulf at age 13 and had eight children including St. Catherine of Sweden.  After her husband's death in 1344, St. Bridget of Sweden devoted the remainder of her life to religion. She founded the Bridgettine Order c.1350 which was open to men and women.
  St. Bridget of Sweden died on July 23, 1373. She is a patron saint of Sweden, Europe, and widows. Her feast day is July 23.

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