Life of Prayer & Hospitality
The Order of the Most Holy Savior of St. Bridget known today also as the Bridgettines (or Birgittines), was founded in the 14th century in Sweden by St. Bridget (Birgitta) for the glory of God. It had at the beginning of the 20th century a new sprout, thanks to the work of Saint Mother Elizabeth Hesselblad.
The Bridgettines exist at present in 19 countries with monasteries of contemplative nuns and a congregation of contemplative apostolic sisters whose mother-house is located in Rome, in the actual former dwelling of St. Bridget of Sweden.
The primary charism of our spiritual intentions and apostolic activities is the reestablishment of unity of all Christians in accord with the ecumenical principles of the Vatican Council's very own reaction to the sorrowful prayer of Jesus.
“Father, that all may be one. Hasten O Lord, the union of Christians: hear the prayers of your humble Bridgettines who are consecrated to you for these intentions”
(Mother Elisabeth 1930).
The unity, the specific aim of the Order, determines the intentions of the prayer, that of the community, and of works of penance.
With the total offering of their life to God, the Sisters' mission is to bring about:
reparations for the separation of peoples or of groups from the one fold of Christ- the Roman Catholic Church
cessation of the painful divisions among Christians
conversions to the true Faith of peoples and social groups not yet Christians or de-Christianized; and expansion and apostolic efficacy of the Church
the increase and consolidation of the ministerial priesthood and of the consecrated life to the service of unity in the Catholic Church
the personal and ministerial success of Our Holy Father
The spirituality of the Bridgettine Order is rooted in a deep love of Christ, especially in remembrance of His sufferings, in the fullness of liturgical worship, and in a respect for learning and authentic devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the holy Mother of God, having all incorporated into a simple monastic lifestyle through prayer and hospitality.
“Lord, show me the way”: the route the Lord has planned which I am bound to take toward unity and self-denial and the cross which sublime acts of pure and gratitude, is to devote my life to."
'Amor Meus Crucifixus Est' epitomizes the love of the Word for humanity that consummated His mission in the Calvary drama.
The Bridgettines on their black veil wear a crown of white cloth with five red signs for a perennial memory of the five wounds of the Divine Savior. Moreover, the gray color represents the sacrifices of reparations. Both of these were given to St. Bridget by Our Lord and Savior in a vision.
Our Prayer Life
Daily the sisters dedicate hours to the solemn personal and community Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament placed high above the altar so as to attract all to Himself.
The first duty, and more importantly, for the sisters is to give glory to God, rendering praise to the Lord, to the sacred Liturgy, fountain and summit of the life of the Church. In particular, the Liturgy of the Hours are prayed throughout the day.
In receiving Christ daily in Holy Eucharist, the sisters find nourishment in daily rapport with the word of God. Saint Bridget called the Scriptures “your most precious treasure.” From meditation of the sacred books, one is able to learn and love God, and through God’s words, one is able to know also His mind and His will.
Our Community Life
Also, the community life, modeled after the Trinity, is an exercise of contemplation in so much as it demands fraternal kindness and prompt generosity in the service and joint responsibility inputting to fruition one’s talent for the edification and joy of the community.
“Let us not permit that some darken that bond of charity that should keep you united, held in God and in his divine service, to his greater glory. I implore you, loved daughters, to hold much to heart, the great necessity of always seeking to strengthen this bond of love that unites us. We ought to be of one heart taking delight in one another, suffering with one another, taking all from God with the same grateful love.”
Amor Meus Crucifixus Est
My Love is Crucified
Contemplatives in Service
Hospitality with an Ecumenical Aim
in developed countries, the Sisters' primary activities of welcome and hospitality provide an ecumenical service presented as a practice of perfect charity, spiritual and human warmth for those living in profound physical or spiritual poverty who are searching for a better life and new horizons.
Local Community Services
Moreover, in developing countries e.g., India and Mexico, the Sisters combine the activity of evangelization with helping poverty-stricken women and the young. There is great need, as in India, to adopt entire villages helping start a process of social, economic, cultural and religious development, all the while, respecting the traditions and local customs.
The Birgittine Sisters have founded many spiritual centers around the world. There they offer international meetings of study, conventions and unpaid work experiences, be it on the character and the message of Saint Bridget, or on the interesting prospect of ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue among the diverse churches at the International Bridgettine Centre of Farfa, Italy