Most of the time, we forget to pray to God to thank Him for all the wonderful things He has given us. I admit that I took everything for granted in the past until such time that I came upon a booklet about the life and teachings of St Bridget of Sweden.
This small but powerful prayer book that I read contains valuable lessons about the strong devotion of St Bridget to the Passion of Christ and her overwhelming desire to help those in need.
The Visions of St Bridget of Sweden and Her Dedication to Help the Poor
St Bridget of Sweden was born in the year 1303 as Birgitta Birgersdotter. Even though she came from a wealthy and powerful family, she always lived a spiritual and virtuous life serving God and helping the poor.
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Throughout her life, she received a lot of visions about the suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ. In one of those visions, she asked about the number of blows Jesus received during His suffering, and He said to her that He received a total of 5480 blows throughout His entire body.
St Bridget’s Love for the Poor
Besides her visions, St Bridget of Sweden is known for her dedication to helping the poor. In 1344, when her husband Ulf died, she gave away all her riches and possessions to establish the Order of the Most Holy Saviour (the Brigittines).
St Bridget’s love for the poor was reflected through her order’s commitment to live in poor convents and their willingness to give all their surplus income to those in need. However, they do spend a portion of their income on acquiring the books they want.
Her devotion to helping the poor was demonstrated in 1350 when she went to plague-stricken Europe with her daughter, St Catherine. They went there with the Pope’s authorization to raise the people’s morale and help them survive the plague.
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Afterward, she dedicated the rest of her life caring for the sick and dying, and speaking about the injustices that kept poor people from living a decent and respectful life. Her dedication and love for the poor have strongly influenced governments and church officials during her time.
The Lessons We Can Learn From the Life of St Bridget of Sweden
St Bridget of Sweden is teaching me the power of prayers and the importance of helping others in times of their need. Her generosity and self-sacrifice show how strong her faith was God is and how dedicated she was in helping the poor.
Her life story should remind us that it is important to share our blessings with people who are less fortunate than us. We can start doing this by praying to St Bridget of Sweden and asking her to help us care and love our neighbors the same way she did during her lifetime.