July 23: St. Bridget of Sweden

Bridget was the daughter of the governor of Uppland, Sweden. He used his position and wealth to contribute to helping the less fortunate, a practice that is daughter Bridget would continue through her life.
Bridget married into the royal family of Sweden and produced eight children. Her daughter would one day become St. Catherine of Sweden. While married, Bridget and her husband performed many good works, even establishing a hospital on their property that was open to everyone.
Upon the death of her husband, Bridget dispersed all of her possessions and established a double monastery for men and women. The two groups worshiped together but lived apart. Eventually they would be recognized as the Order of the Most Holy Savior, or the Brigittines.
Bridget made a pilgrimage to Rome to aid the sick and dying there during an epidemic. She was witness to many injustices and excesses in the church and became a vocal critic. Though she received much backlash, she became a spokesperson for reform and influenced government and church officials, even making impact on the pope.
Our saint made a pilgrimage to the Holy land so as to be able to walk in the footsteps of Christ. They say that she experienced visions of the Lord while there. Unfortunately, that trip was marred by shipwreck and the death of her son Charles and eventually led to her death in 1373.
Bridget was declared a saint 18 years after her death. She is the patron saint of Sweden. In 1999, Pope John Paul II honored her once more: St. Bridget was named co-patron saint of all of Europe along with St. Catherine of Siena and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross,
Adapted by A.J. Valentini