BRID'GET, SAINT (1303-73) (more properly Birgit or Brigitt). A Roman Catholic saint. She was born in the Palace of Instad, near Up sala, the daughter of a prince of the blood royal of Sweden. In 1318 she married Ulf Oudmarsson, Prince of Nericia. a stripling of IS, by whom she had eight children, the youngest of whom, named Catherine (13:36-81), became par excellence the female saint of Sweden. According to the le gend, her husband and she vowed to spend the remainder of their lives in a state of continence, and, to obtain strength to carry out their resolu tion, made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint James at Santiago de Compostela, in Spain. This was between 1341 and 1343. On their re turn they entered the Cistercian Monastery of Alvastra, on the east shore of Lake Vettern, southwest of Stockholm. The picturesque ruins are still standing. There Ulf died in 1344, but without taking monastic vows. Bridget became a professed nun, and began to have revela tions. She felt called upon to found a new or der to the homage of the Saviour. This she did in 1346. The first monastery was at Vadstena, On Lake Vettern, only some 10 miles north, on the same side of Al•astra, and on her property. It is now a lunatic asylum. They received the rule of Saint Augustine, to which Saint Bridget herself added a few particulars, but constituted a new order —sometimes called the Order of Saint Bridget, sometimes the Order of Saint Sal vator, or the Holy Saviour—which flourished in Sweden until 1595, when it was suppressed. In 1350 Saint Bridget went to Rome, where she founded a hospice for pilgrims and Swedish stu dents, and obtained the Papal sanction for her order in 1370, which was reorganized by Leo X. After having made a pilgrimage to Palestine, she died in Rome on her return. July 23, 1373. Her bones were carried to Vadstena, and she herself was canonized in 1391 by Pope Boldface IX. Her festival is on the Sth of October. The lIcrela tiones Sancta' Brigittfr, written by her confes sors, was keenly attacked by the celebrated Ger son, hut obtained the approval of the Council of Basel, and has passed through many editions.
Besides the Rerelations, there have been attrib uted to this saint a sermon on the Virgin, and five discourses on the passion of Jesus Christ, preceded by an introduction which was con demned by the congregation of the Index. For her autobiography and the history of the Order, consult: ip t ores Mcrum seecicarain Vol. 111. (Stockholm, 1871-7ti; the English translation of her lierelations (London. 1873) ; also the biographies by G. Binder (Munich, 18911, and V. F. de Flavigny (Paris, 1892). The former treats also of her order. See Rum Not to be confounded with this Swedish saint is another Saint Bridget, Saint Brigit, or Saint Bride, as she is more commonly called—a native of Ireland. born at Foehart, now Faugher, 47 miles north of Dublin, 453— t he child of a man of royal race and his bond-servant. She was brought up by a wizard, who had bought her mother, and whom she converted to Christianity, but was liberated by the King. She became a nun and founded the Church and Monastery of Kildare (the Church of the Oak), and there died February 1, 523. She was unquestionably a woman of rare ability and consecration, and properly became, along with Patrick and Co lumba, one of the three great saints of Ire land. Iter story, as told in Irish legends, is very attractive and based probably on facts. See it in Whitley Stokes, Three Middle-Irish Homilies on the Lim of .Saints Patrick, Brigit. and Co lumba (Calcutta, 1877). She was renowned for her beauty. To escape the temptations to which this dangerous gift exposed her, as well as the offers of marriage with which she was annoyed. she prayed God to make her ugly. Her was granted, and she retired from the world. founded the monastery already mentioned, and devoted herself to the education of young girls. Her day falls on the 1st of February. She was held in great reverence in Scotland, and was re garded by the Douglases as their tutelary saint.