Promises to St. Bridget and 15 Prayers - The Sanity of Sanctity (oct8sos.htm)



Prayers of St. Bridget

Prayers of St. Bridget of Sweden

    On the 14th of June 1303, at the moment Saint Bridget of Sweden was born, Pope Benedict XV, the curate of Rasbo at the time, prayed for the happy deliverance of the child Ingeborde. Suddenly he found himself enveloped by a luminous cloud out of which Our Lady appeared: "A child has been born at Birger; her voice will be heard by the entire world."

    Later as the Sovereign Pontiff, he proclaimed:
      "The approbation of such revelations implies nothing more than, after mature examination, it is permissible to publish them for the unit of the faithful. Though they don’t merit the same credence as the truths of religion, one can, however, believe them out of human faith, conforming to the rules of prudence by which they are probable, and supported by sufficient motives that one might believe in them piously." (Pope Benedict XV, Les Petits Bollandistes, tome XII)

    The prayers below have been copied from a book printed in Toulouse in 1740 and published by the Father Adrien Parvilliers of the Company of Jesus, Apostolic Missionary of the Holy Land, with approbation, permission and recommendation to distribute them. His Holiness Pope Pius IX took cognizance of these Prayers and approved them on May 31, 1862, recognizing them as true and for the good of Souls. This sentence of Pope Pius IX has been confirmed by the realization of the promises by all persons who have recited the prayers and by numerous supernatural facts by which God wanted to make known their exact truth. A collection of small books, these prayers among them, was approved by the Great Congress of Malines on August 22, 1863.

    Visitors to the Church of St. Paul at Rome can see the crucifix, above the Tabernacle in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, sculptured by Pierre Cavallini, before which St. Bridget knelt when she received these 15 prayers from Our Lord. The following inscription is placed in the church to commemorate the event: "Pendentis, Pendente Dei verba accepit aure accipit et verbum corde Brigitta Deum. Anno Jubilei MCCCL."

    St. Bridget was curious to know for quite some time the number of blows Our Lord received during His Passion, He one day appeared to her and said: "I received 5480 blows on My Body. If you wish to honor them in some way, say 15 Our Fathers and 15 Hail Mary’s with the following Prayers (which He taught her) for a whole year. When the year is up, you will have honored each one of My Wounds."

    Our Lord reputedly made the fifteen promises to Bridget for anyone who recited the 15 St. Bridget Prayers for a whole year. Note the caveat beneath before the Prayers. This is from research provided by Fr. Casimir Puskorius, CMRI and published in The Reign of Mary, you'll note ones in question are in red below as a caveat emptor. Because of the Holy Monitum published by Rome when She was still true, we are not promoting the Promises and you'll see why in Fr. Casimir's explanation below.


Magnificent Prayers, Yes — Magnificent Promises, No

by
Very Rev. Fr. Casimir M. Puskorius, CMRI


    A Monitum from the Holy Office: In certain places a booklet has appeared with the title “The Secret of Happiness: Fifteen Prayers Revealed by Our Lord to Saint Brigid in the Church of Saint Paul in Rome,” published in various languages at Nice (and elsewhere).

    Since it is asserted in this booklet that certain promises were made by God to Saint Brigid, and it is by no means certain that these promises were of supernatural origin, Ordinaries of places [bishops of dioceses] must avoid giving permission to publish or to reprint works or writings which contain the aforesaid promises.

Given at Rome, from the Holy Office, 28 January, 1954

    (Acta Apostolicae Sedis 46-64, as contained in Canon Law Digest, Vol. IV, p. 389, Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Company, 1958)

    Among the popular devotions of the Catholic faithful are the “Magnificent Prayers” of St. Bridget (Brigid), to be prayed uninterruptedly for an entire year. These fifteen prayers focus on the Sacred Passion of Our Divine Lord, and are believed to have been revealed to St. Bridget of Sweden (feastday - Oct. 8), a great devotee of the Passion. Unfortunately, these prayers sometimes appear in booklets along with the promises whose publication the Holy Office forbade in 1954. The prayers themselves were not condemned, but it will be fairly apparent later on in this article why restriction was placed on the so-called “Magnificent Promises.”

    St. Bridget was the daughter of a wealthy governor in Sweden. Born around the year 1303, she was favored with visions of the Crucified Savior by the time she was seven.1 Called to the married state, she bore eight children, among whom would be the future St. Catherine of Sweden. She survived her husband, and eventually went to reside in Rome where she continued to be favored with visions. The Fifteen Prayers were given in this setting:

        Those who visit the Church of St. Paul in Rome can see the life-size crucifix sculptured by Pietro Cavallini, before which St. Bridget knelt, and there can be read the following inscription: "Pendentis pendente Dei verba accepit aure accipit et verbum corde Brigitta Deum. Anno Jubilei MCCCL," which recalls the prodigy of the crucifix conversing with St. Bridget.2 (Translation: "Bridget not only receives the words of God hanging in the air, but takes the word of God into her heart. Jubilee Year 1350.")

    Now for a bit of history on how these prayers were disseminated. They were copied from a book printed in Toulouse in France in 1740, and published by Fr. Adrien Parvilliers, S.J., with the proper permissions.3 Among those who reportedly encouraged this devotion were Popes Urban VI and Pius IX. The Congress of Malines (ecclesiastical province of Mechlin in Belgium) is also said to have approved them on August 22, 1863. 4

    According to a booklet that publishes the alleged promises, 5 Our Lord had revealed to St. Bridget that He received 5,480 blows to His Sacred Body during the Passion. Therefore, if one were to pray the 15 prayers daily for a year, along with 15 Our Fathers and Hail Marys, one would thereby have honored each of the wounds received. (Actually, 15 times 365 is 5,475. If the leap year is factored in, the calculation is closer. Thus, 15 x 365.25 = 5,478.75, which rounds off to 5, 479.)

    This part of the revelation does not seem to be against Catholic doctrine. When the Scriptural accounts of the Passion are considered, this number seems to be a reasonable calculation. It is entirely possible that the Divine knowledge, which knows the minutest details of the Passion, chose to communicate to St. Bridget the number of actual blows to edify the faithful and inspire them with a greater love of the suffering Redeemer.

    It is the promises, though, that are problematic. Some of them are consistent with Church teaching, but some of them definitely are not. Here is a sampling 6 of those that are not, along with my comments:

"2. Fifteen souls of his lineage will be confirmed and preserved in grace." How is it possible for anyone to be "confirmed in grace"? No one can be certain of salvation in this manner, much less can this certainty be given gratuitously to descendants.

"4. Whoever recites these Prayers will attain the first degree of perfection." What is the first degree of perfection? This is nebulous and ill-defined. Reciting these prayers daily for an entire year would imply some degree of perfection, but not necessarily the highest. Moreover, neurotics and those who love to "rattle off" prayers in great quantity may easily say these prayers daily, and be no closer to perfection than they were when they started. Quality is necessary and even more important than quantity.

"5. Fifteen days before his death I will give him My Precious Body in order that he may escape eternal starvation; I will give him My Precious Blood to drink lest he thirst eternally." It is true that when we receive the Sacred Host, we are at the same time receiving the Precious Blood of Jesus. Why is a distinction necessary here?

"11. Let it be known that whoever may have been living in a state of mortal sin for 30 years, but who will recite devoutly, or have the intention to recite these prayers, the Lord will forgive him all his sins." This is not consistent with any promises given in other approved private revelations, such as the Promise of the Nine First Fridays or of the Five First Saturdays. What is so significant about 30 in this context? If one were to be tragically living in mortal sin for, say, 29 or 31 years, would the promise suddenly be ineffective? Also, how does the mere intent of saying the prayers for a year constitute an act of perfect contrition? One could resolve to say the prayers out of fear of God’s punishments, and this would be only imperfect contrition. A sacramental Confession would be needed as well for actual forgiveness.

"19. He is assured of being joined to the supreme Choir of Angels." This sounds nice, but one would have to have the fervor and sanctity of a saint such as St. Francis to receive the reward of the Seraphim or Cherubim.

    The reader should be able to see why the Holy Office took exception to the "Magnificent Promises," and, with the apostolic authority it possessed, forbade publishers to print them and the faithful to believe them. The prayers themselves are fine, and certainly conducive to sanctification. I encourage you to pray them devoutly every day for a year, and blessings are sure to flow from this recitation.

    One may wonder how it is that St. Bridget’s revelations could have been faulty. After all, she is a canonized saint! It must be understood that the Holy Office did not definitively condemn the Promises. Rather, it ruled that we cannot be sure of their origin: either they are a concoction, or they were not accurately transmitted by the writers of the past, or the holy seer herself did not clearly enough transmit them (after all, no visionary is an infallible oracle). With wisdom and charity, this highest of Roman curial departments simply ordered the Promises to be removed from circulation.

    This very point underscores the nature of private revelation. It is apart from the Deposit of Faith taught by Our Lord, communicated to us by the Apostles, and safeguarded by the Church as what we absolutely must believe to be saved. The Church does not receive or transmit ongoing revelation of truths which are necessary for salvation. All the Church can do is examine private revelation, and determine whether it is contrary to faith and morals or not. If it is not, then it is presented to the faithful as something that may be believed. Though charity, as St. Paul declares to the Corinthians, "believeth all things" (I Cor. 13:7), it is still governed by faith in the Church’s guiding, infallible authority and obedience to her decrees. We do well to bear this in mind, as we make use of private revelations to help us on the path of holiness.

Footnotes:

    1 - A.& K. Mausloff, Saint Companions for Each Day, London: St. Paul Publications, 1959, page 277

    2 - The Magnificent Prayers, Rockford: TAN Publishers, 1983, page 3 — a reprint of the 1971 Marian Publications version, South Bend, Indiana

    3 - Ibid.

    4 - Ibid.

    5 The Pieta Prayer Booklet, Hickory Corners, MI: MLOR Corporation, 1996, page 5

    6 - Ibid., pp. 5-6


Fifteen Prayers

First Prayer

Our Father – Hail Mary
      O Jesus Christ! Eternal Sweetness to those who love Thee, joy surpassing all joy and all desire, Salvation and Hope of all sinners, Who hast proved that Thou hast no greater desire than to be among men, even assuming human nature at the fullness of time for the love of men, recall all the sufferings Thou hast endured from the instant of Thy conception, and especially during Thy Passion, as it was decreed and ordained from all eternity in the Divine plan.

       Remember, O Lord, that during the Last Supper with Thy disciples, having washed their feet, Thou gavest them Thy Most Precious Body and Blood, and while at the same time Thou didst sweetly console them, Thou didst foretell them Thy coming Passion.

       Remember the sadness and bitterness which Thou didst experience in Thy Soul as Thou Thyself bore witness saying: "My Soul is sorrowful even unto death."

       Remember all the fear, anguish and pain that Thou didst suffer in Thy delicate Body before the torment of the Crucifixion, when, after having prayed three times, bathed in a sweat of blood, Thou wast betrayed by Judas, Thy disciple, arrested by the people of a nation Thou hadst chosen and elevated, accused by false witnesses, unjustly judged by three judges during the flower of Thy youth and during the solemn Paschal season.

       Remember that Thou wast despoiled of Thy garments and clothed in those of derision; that Thy Face and Eyes were veiled, that Thou wast buffeted, crowned with thorns, a reed placed in Thy Hands, that Thou was crushed with blows and overwhelmed with affronts and outrages.

       In memory of all these pains and sufferings which Thou didst endure before Thy Passion on the Cross, grant me before my death true contrition, a sincere and entire confession, worthy satisfaction and the remission of all my sins. Amen.


Second Prayer

Our Father – Hail Mary
       O Jesus! True liberty of angels, Paradise of delights, remember the horror and sadness which Thou didst endure when Thy enemies, like furious lions, surrounded Thee, and by thousands of insults, spits, blows, lacerations and other unheard-of-cruelties, tormented Thee at will. In consideration of these torments and insulting words, I beseech Thee, O my Savior, to deliver me from all my enemies, visible and invisible, and to bring me, under Thy protection, to the perfection of eternal salvation. Amen.


Third Prayer

Our Father – Hail Mary
      O Jesus! Creator of Heaven and earth Whom nothing can encompass or limit, Thou Who dost enfold and hold all under Thy Loving power, remember the very bitter pain Thou didst suffer when the Jews nailed Thy Sacred Hands and Feet to the Cross by blow after blow with big blunt nails, and not finding Thee in a pitiable enough state to satisfy their rage, they enlarged Thy Wounds, and added pain to pain, and with indescribable cruelty stretched Thy Body on the Cross, pulled Thee from all sides, thus dislocating Thy Limbs. I beg of Thee, O Jesus, by the memory of this most Loving suffering of the Cross, to grant me the grace to fear Thee and to Love Thee. Amen.


Fourth Prayer

Our Father – Hail Mary
       O Jesus! Heavenly Physician, raised aloft on the Cross to heal our wounds with Thine, remember the bruises which Thou didst suffer and the weakness of all Thy Members which were distended to such a degree that never was there pain like unto Thine. From the crown of Thy Head to the Soles of Thy Feet there was not one spot on Thy Body that was not in torment, and yet , forgetting all Thy sufferings, Thou didst not cease to pray to Thy heavenly Father for Thy enemies, saying "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

       Through this great Mercy, and in memory of this suffering, grant that the remembrance of Thy Most Bitter Passion may effect in us a perfect contrition and the remission of all our sins. Amen.


Fifth Prayer

Our Father – Hail Mary
       O Jesus! Mirror of eternal splendor, remember the sadness which Thou experienced, when contemplating in the light of Thy Divinity the predestination of those who would be saved by the merits of Thy Sacred passion, Thou didst see at the same time, the great multitude of reprobates who would be damned for their sins, and Thou didst complain bitterly of those hopeless lost and unfortunate sinners.

       Through this abyss of compassion and pity, and especially through the goodness which Thou displayed to the good thief when Thou sadist to him: "This day, thou shalt be with Me in paradise." I beg of Thee, O Sweet Jesus, that at the hour of my death, Thou wilt show me mercy. Amen.


Sixth Prayer

Our Father – Hail Mary
      O Jesus! Beloved and most desirable King, remember the grief Thou didst suffer, when naked and like a common criminal, Thou was fastened and raised on the Cross, when all Thy relatives and friends abandoned Thee, except Thy Beloved Mother, who remained close to Thee during Thy agony and whom Thou didst entrust to Thy faithful disciple when Thou saideth to Mary: "Woman, behold thy son!" and to St. John: Son, behold thy Mother!"

       I beg of Thee O my Savior, by the sword of sorrow which pierced the soul of Thy holy Mother, to have compassion on me in all my affliction and tribulations, both corporal and spiritual, and to assist me in all my trials, and especially at the hour of my death. Amen.


Seventh Prayer

Our Father – Hail Mary
       O Jesus! Inexhaustible Fountain of compassion, Who by a profound gesture of Love, said from the Cross: “I thirst!” suffered from the thirst for the salvation of the human race. I beg of Thee O my Savior, to inflame in our hearts the desire to tend toward perfection in all our acts; and to extinguish in us the concupiscence of the flesh and the ardor of worldly desires. Amen.


Eighth Prayer

Our Father – Hail Mary
      O Jesus! Sweetness of hearts, delight of the spirit, by the bitterness of the vinegar and gall which Thou didst taste on the Cross for Love of us, grant us the grace to receive worthily Thy Precious Body and Blood during our life and at the hour of our death, that they may serve as a remedy and consolation for our souls. Amen.


Ninth Prayer

Our Father – Hail Mary
      O Jesus! Royal virtue, joy of the mind, recall the pain Thou didst endure when, plunged in an ocean of bitterness at the approach of death, insulted, outraged by the Jews, Thou didst cry out in a loud voice that Thou was abandoned by Thy Father, saying: "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" Through this anguish, I beg of Thee, O my Savior, not to abandon me in the terrors and pains of my death. Amen.


Tenth Prayer

Our Father – Hail Mary
      O Jesus! Who art the beginning and end of all things, life and virtue, remember that for our sakes Thou was plunged in an abyss of suffering from the soles of Thy Feet to the crown of Thy Head. In consideration of the enormity of Thy Wounds, teach me to keep, through pure love, Thy Commandments, whose way is wide and easy for those who love Thee. Amen.


Eleventh Prayer

Our Father – Hail Mary
       O Jesus! Deep abyss of mercy, I beg of Thee, in memory of Thy Wounds which penetrated to the very marrow of Thy Bones and to the depth of Thy being, to draw me, a miserable sinner, overwhelmed by my offenses, away from sin and to hide me from Thy Face justly irritated against me, hide me in Thy Wounds, until Thy anger and just indignation shall have passed away. Amen.


Twelfth Prayer

Our Father – Hail Mary
       O Jesus! Mirror of Truth, symbol of unity, link of Charity, remember the multitude of wounds with which Thou was covered from head to foot, torn and reddened by the spilling of Thy adorable blood. O great and universal pain which Thou didst suffer in Thy virginal flesh for love of us! Sweetest Jesus! What is there that Thou couldst have done for us which Thou hast not done! May the fruit of Thy sufferings be renewed in my soul by the faithful remembrance of Thy passion, and may Thy love increase in my heart each day, until I see Thee in eternity, Thou Who art the treasury of every real good and every joy, which I beg Thee to grant me, O sweetest Jesus, in Heaven. Amen.


Thirteenth Prayer

Our Father – Hail Mary
       O Jesus! Strong Lion, Immortal and Invincible King, remember the pain which Thou didst endure when all Thy strength, both moral and physical, was entirely exhausted, Thou didst bow Thy head, saying: "It is consummated!"

       Through this anguish and grief, I beg of Thee Lord Jesus, to have mercy on me at the hour of my death when my mind will be greatly troubled and my soul will be in anguish. Amen.


Fourteenth Prayer

Our Father – Hail Mary
       O Jesus! Only Son of the Father, splendor and figure of His substance remember the simple and humble recommendation Thou didst make of Thy Soul to Thy Eternal Father, saying: "Father, into Thy Hands I commend My Spirit!" And with Thy body all torn, and Thy Heart broken, and the bowels of Thy mercy open to redeem us, Thou didst expire. By this precious death, I beg of Thee O King of Saints, comfort me and help me to resist the devil, the flesh and the world, so that being dead to the world I may live for Thee alone. I beg of Thee at the hour of my death to receive me, a pilgrim and an exile returning to Thee. Amen.


Fifteenth Prayer

Our Father – Hail Mary
       O Jesus! True and fruitful Vine! Remember the abundant outpouring of Blood which Thou didst so generously shed from Thy Sacred Body as juice from grapes in a wine press.

       From Thy Side, pierced with a lance by a soldier, blood and water issued forth until there was not left in Thy Body a single drop, and finally, like a bundle of myrrh lifted to the top of the Cross, Thy delicate flesh was destroyed, the very Substance of Thy Body withered, and the Marrow of Thy Bones dried up.

       Through this bitter Passion and through the outpouring of Thy precious Blood, I beg of Thee, O Sweet Jesus, to receive my soul when I am in my death agony. Amen.


Conclusion

       O Sweet Jesus! Pierce my heart so that my tears of penitence and love will be my bread day and night; may I be converted entirely to Thee, may my heart be Thy perpetual habitation, may my conversation be pleasing to Thee, and my the end of my life be so praiseworthy that I may merit Heaven and there with Thy saints, praise Thee forever. Amen.
Revelations and Prophecies imparted to St. Bridget of Sweden



Sanity of Sanctity - Prayers of St. Bridget