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Birgitta, Brigid of Sweden

Born: 1302 AD
Died: 1373 AD
Nationality: Swedish
Categories: Martyr, Religious Leaders, Saint

1303 – Saint Birgitta born in Sweden, also known as St. Bridgid of Sweden and Birgitta of Vadstena. She was a mystic and saint, and founder of the Bridgettine Order.

1316 – Married to Ulfo Gudmarson of the family of Ulvåsa, lord of Närke, to whom she bore eight children, one of whom was afterwards honoured as St. Catherine of Sweden.

1341 – 1343 – Her saintly and charitable life soon made her known far and wide; she gained, too, great religious influence over her husband, with whom she went on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

1344 – Shortly after their return, Ulf died in the Cistercian monastery of Alvastra in Östergötland, and Birgitta now devoted herself wholly to religion.

1350 – She went to Rome, partly to obtain from the pope the authorization of the new order, partly in pursuance of her self-imposed mission to elevate the moral tone of the age.

1370 – Pope Urban V confirmed the rule of her order, but meanwhile Birgitta had made herself universally beloved in Rome by her kindness and good works.

1373 – Died on the 23rd of July. She was originally buried at San Lorenzo in Panisperna, before being moved to Sweden.

1391 – She was canonized by Pope Boniface IX, and confirmed by the Council of Constance.

1999 – Pope John Paul II chose Birgitta as Europe’s patron saint. Her feast is celebrated on the 23rd of July, formerly 8th of October 8.