23th July: Saint Bridget of Sweden (patroness of Europe)


Bridget of Sweden (c. 1303 – 23 July 1373); born as Birgitta Birgersdotter, also Birgitta of Vadstena, or Saint Birgitta (Swedish: heliga Birgitta), was a mystic and saint, and founder of the Bridgettines nuns and monks after the death of her husband of twenty years. Outside of Sweden, she was also known as the Princess of Nericia and was the mother of Catherine of Vadstena. (Though normally named as Bridget of Sweden, she was not a member of Swedish royalty.)

She is one of the six patron saints of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia, Saints Cyril and Methodius, Catherine of Siena and Edith Stein.



The exclamation “Santa Brigida!” it has become part of the Italian folk heritage, in particular of Southern Italy, as noted by the anthropologist Ernesto de Martino in his essay Furore Symbol Value, which gives the title to the collection of articles of the same name. De Martino’s interpretation regards the use that peasant culture makes of the expression “Santa Brigida!”: «The shepherds of Daunia, in particular, are used to using the expression that recalls the Saint to underline a great effort that has seen as another protagonist and narrated to him, perhaps in reference to the pilgrimages and works carried out by Brigida of Sweden while she was still alive. A myth handed down over the centuries through the narration of the prelates, who told the people about the lives of the saints in the form of exemplary figurines “

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