DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY     July 23, 1998     vol. 9, no. 143


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

Thursday, July 23, 1998

    Thursday July 23:
    Sixteenth Thursday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Saint Bridget of Sweden, Wife, Mother, Mystic and Religious

    Green or White vestments

      First Reading: Jeremiah 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
      Psalms: Psalm 36: 6-11
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 10-17


          Born in Uppsala, Sweden in 1303, Saint Bridget was married by her parents at the early age of 14 to 18 year-old Prince Ulf Gudmarsson in 1317. The couple had eight children, one of whom being Saint Karen, a Scandinavian derivation of Catherine. God blessed the family with great faith and wisdom and their reputation reached the court of King Magnus II, the young ruler of Sweden who summoned Bridget in 1335 to serve as the lady-in-waiting for Magnus' wife, Blanche of Namur the young queen of Sweden. However, Bridget was greatly distressed by the royals' extravagance and sought unsuccessfully to curb their excesses, but to no avail. It was during this time that she began receiving messages from God. Shortly after the death of Gudmar her youngest son, she and Ulf made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain where the relics of Saint James can be found. It so moved them that they decided to live the rest of their lives in monasteries and live the life of celibacy. Ulf died in a Cistercian monastery in 1344 at the age of 45. This prompted Bridget to put on the penitent garb and live an ascetic lifestyle, but the private revelations grew so intense that Bridget first feared she was being deceived by the evil one. However through prayer and the assurance of a learned Cistercian monk, she realized they were indeed from Heaven. Still befriended by Magnus, he offered financial assistance for her to begin two monasteries and found the Order of the Most Holy Savior which is almost non-existent today except for the Bridgettines. In the Holy Year of 1350 Bridget went to Rome where she remained until her death in 1373. She endeavored tirelessly to bring the Holy Father back to Rome from exile in Avignon and held nothing back in denouncing the wickedness of the nobility in Naples and Cyrus. It was in Rome where Bridget received the "Revelations of St. Bridget" which included the 15 Promises and Secrets and meditations on Christ's Passion, printed in the "Pieta" small booklet distributed everywhere. With one of her sons and her daughter Karen (Catherine) by her side, Bridget died peacefully at the age of 70. With great pomp and circumstance her body was transported back to Sweden and laid to rest at the monastery in Vadstena.

Friday, July 24, 1998

      First Reading: Jeremiah 3: 14-17
      Psalms: Jeremiah 31: 10-13
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 18-23

July 23, 1998       volume 9, no. 143


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