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St Bridget

I was a bit surprised when my morning meditation announced to me that today is the feast day of St Bridget. Back in Ireland, the euhemerised deity is commemorated on 1 February.

When our eldest was a few months old, a chance conversation about names with leedy (which I'm sure she has completely forgotten) alerted me to the existence of St Bridget of Sweden, who it turns out died on this date in 1373, and so is commemorated today.

The Swedish version seems to me not a bad role model to have: true to her own (admittedly somewhat peculiar) visions, moved to Rome in order to put more effective pressure on the Pope to raise the moral tone of the age; something of an activist who would not take no for an answer. I once ended up staying near the church she founded in Rome, though apparently she herself now rests back home in Sweden.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 23rd, 2009 08:48 am (UTC)
Although watching one QI yesterday Stephen Fry alerted me to one of the least-known miracles of the Irish St. Bridget, which was to be able to turn used bathwater into beer. I thought it was a marvelously Irish thing, but I am not sure how much I can trust Fry on this.
Jul. 23rd, 2009 11:36 am (UTC)
A bit of googling seems to suggest that there is indeed a water-into-beer story: e.g. http://paintedprayerbook.com/2009/01/31/a-habit-of-the-wildest-bounty-the-feast-of-st-brigid/
Jul. 23rd, 2009 09:36 am (UTC)
Actually, I think I do remember that conversation! And yes, she was a pretty determined (if, as you say, peculiar) woman, fond of writing "Dear Pope, God told me to tell you..." letters that featured, eg, the Pope writhing in hell. She definitely teetered on the "saint? OR HERETIC?!" edge for a bit, not least because members of her Order did things like celebrating extra feast days from Bridget's writings, because they were direct messages from God, meaning they were just as good as the Gospels, weren't they? Also (unsurprisingly) v. popular in Germany just before/during the Reformation.

Happy feast day, St. Bridget, without whom I, er, probably wouldn't have a Masters.
Jul. 23rd, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
You should probably do a Novena to her in thanks. Or do people only do Novenas when they're asking for things? My grandmother used to refer to doing a Novena for our exams.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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