Saint Bridget (1303-1373)
for July 23
Saint Bridget of Sweden was born in 1303 and from an early age experienced visions of the nativity, the crucifixion, and purgatory. These visions became well known and inspired artistic depictions. Married at age 14 to Magnus II, the King of Sweden, Saint Bridget bore eight children, four boys and four girls. She became widely known for her kindness and many works of charity. After her husband's death, she continued to live in service to those in need and dedicated her life to the well-being of the Church. She founded a monastery for men and women whose members eventually came to be known by the name "Bridgetines." In 1999, Pope John Paul II declared Saint Bridget, Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Edith Stein co-patronesses of Europe.
Image via Wikipedia
Often, when we read about saints, we are amazed by the astonishing and fantastic nature of their work and accomplishments. It is important to remember, however, that even individuals who live normal, seemingly dull lives are capable of becoming great saints. Saint Bridget of Sweden was a mother and wife, and chose to become a leader in her community and in her church. Many of us, like Saint Bridget, are husbands, wives, parents and siblings. And, like Saint Bridget, we too are capable of having a tremendous impact and exhibiting profound virtue in our everyday lives and in our willingness to get involved in our communities. How can you become a better mother, father, friend or sibling? How can you help your community?
Pray to God to be given the compassion and kindness of Saint Bridget. Ask for God to show you avenues through which you can purposefully contribute to the well-being of your family and community.