Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. (CCC 1807)

"Such disregard of the principles of justice between man and man has gradually distorted the necessary distinctions between 'mine' and 'thine' until in some instances the conscience is completely dulled.

"Despite all popular notions to the contrary, justice is still an essential part of the natural law, and every sin and fault against it will be punished by God. It is defined as the virtue whereby a man respects the rights of others to what they possess; whereby he gives to every man what is his due, and takes from no man anything except that to which he has a just title."  (Catholic Treasurers)


St. Bridget, or Birgitta, chose a life of a religious after a happy marriage to Prince Ulf Gudmarsson.  They had 8 children, including St. Catherine of Sweden. She is renown for your charity and piety. She sought to bring justice to the poor through her many good works and truth to the Popes residing in Avignon, France by urging them to return to Rome. She was loved and criticized for her attempt to accomplish this.

St. Bridget was born in Uppland, Sweden in 1303 to a family of royal blood. Her parents were models of devout Catholicism.  "When only seven Bridget had a vision in which our Lady placed a crown on her head, and when ten, after a sermon on the Passion, she saw in a dream Christ wounded and bleeding. These two experiences seem to have been the formative ones of her life."  (1)

She was wed at 14 and happily married for 28 years.  As a widow, she changed her style of life and led an ascetic life, joining the Third Order of St Francis.  Some denounced her for her new way of life to which she replied, " It was not on your account that I began, and your mockers will not prevent my continuing." (2)

Soon she founded the Order of St. Saviour, or the Brigittines, and traveled to Rome in 1349 for approval.   Pope Urban V did confirm her Rule in 1370. She also traveled to other countries to promote it's work.  In 1373 she made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where she walked in the Lord's footsteps during His Passion.  She encouraged devotion to the Lord's Passion in her congregation of nuns.  (3)  Her daughter Catherine became superior of the founding congregation in Vadstena

St. Bridget was inspired to recall kings and clergy to their rightful duties.  It was known that Popes Clement VI, Urban V, and Gregory XI "venerated her and had recourse to her counsel," even as she pressed them to leave France and return to Rome.  (4)

"St. Bridget had the gift of prophecy and worked many marvellous cures. Once widowed, she lived an ascetic life, eating very little, sleeping short hours, and praying continually. She followed a strict rule and practiced every possible kind of charitable work, even reducing herself to begging. She received constant inspirations which were either taken down by her chaplain and put into Latin, thus becoming known as her 'Revelations,' or took the form of letters to the succeeding popes, cardinals, and secular rulers of the day, telling them of their wickedness and how to reform their lives. Both in Sweden and in Rome she was either hated violently or loved as a saint. 'Strong and full of courage,' she was 'homely and kind and had a laughing face.' " (5)

Pope Pius IX approved the publication of "The Fifteen Prayers" as revealed by Our Lord to St. Bridget while she was in the Church of St. Paul in Rome.  One may find these at .


First Prayer:

Oh 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....

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

Oh 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 may the end of my life be so praiseworthy that I may merit Heaven and there with Thy saints, praise Thee forever.  Amen  (6)


Lord God, You revealed heavenly secrets to St. Bridget as she meditated on the Passion of Your Son. Grant that we, Your servants, may attain the joyful contemplation of Your glory.

1. Catholic Information Network
2. Lives of Saints, Omer Englebert. 1951
3. Catholic Encyclopedia
4. Butler, op cit
6. The Pieta Prayer Booklet, 1982 pages 3-14


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