Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303. Her father was governor of the main province of Sweden and her mother was the daughter of a governor. Throughout her life, Bridget received visions and dreams and possessed gifts of prophecy and healing. After her mother’s death in 1314, Bridget lived with an aunt. She married at 13, bore eight children and lived happily until her husband’s death in 1344.
After his death, Bridget moved near a Cistercian monastery, where she lived a penitential life. Seeking papal approval to create a new religious community, she moved to Rome and lived a life of prayer and penitence there for nearly 20 years. She founded the Bridgettine Order in 1370. Originally it included both men and women but today it is for women only. Bridget died in 1373, while returning to Rome from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
She is patron of Sweden and co-patron of Europe, with Saint Benedict, Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.
Sometimes, being a Christian means going against doing what comes naturally. The whole world does what comes naturally, and that is why it needs salvation.