pilgrim in the
footsteps of Christ(1303 – 1373)
Wife, mother, nun, founder of the Order,
co-patron of Europe
Bridget came from a royal family, received heavenly visions from her
childhood, and was the mother of eight children. Her younger relative, King
Magnus IV. Eriksson asked Brigita to become his wife's court lady and, above
all, to lead the queen to piety.
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They and their husband entered the so-called Third Order of St. Francis,
completed a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
After her husband's death, her life changed, she devoted most of her
time to prayer, she began writing letters to kings, cardinals and the pope
himself, criticizing corruption in the church, the extravagant lives of priests
and monks. She founded a monastery of the new Order of the Blessed Savior,
later known as the Order of the Holy Brigide.
Brigita went on a pilgrimage to Rome in 1349, most of the way she went
barefoot. Cardinal Ratzinger wrote of her that she followed in the footsteps of
God who entered our footsteps. She begged and swore the Pope to return, where
his place was right, to the eternal city of Rome.
After the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Brigita returned ill and died when
she returned to Rome.
In 1391 Bridget was canonized and in 1999 St. John Paul II. declared
co-patron of Europe.