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00Saturday, August 26, 2006 11:08 PM
This thread is for sharing about our favourite saints; those who have been our friends along the way, those whose names we chose in confirmation, and any holy pictures, icons or images which inspire us.

This is my favourite image of the Divine Mercy. It was painted in Vilnius under the direction of St Faustina. She wept with disappointment as she thought it didn't represent Our Lord as she saw him - but how could it? If the face is superimposed onto the face of the Holy Shroud, it matches perfectly.
00Saturday, August 26, 2006 11:54 PM
Great idea Clare! [SM=g27811]

This is St. Bernadette. I chose to use her name as my Confirmation name. I first heard of her when I saw the film "Song of Bernadette" as a little girl. I was touched by her story and faith, I had then read more about her. Ever since then, I have asked for her to intercede with God on the needs of my family, friends, and my own personal needs. Because of her intercession, I heartfully believe that because of her, I no longer suffer from anxiety attacks or bouts of depression, nor do I need to take any more medication for it.
Thank You St. Bernadette.

[Modificato da PhoenixRising 26/08/2006 23.55]

00Sunday, August 27, 2006 7:31 PM
I chose the name Teresa at Confirmation. I'd always liked the sound of her, she was a strong woman yet very human as well. It was only recently however that I started to read her, which is just as well as I don't think that the 'Interior Castle' would have made much sense to me before now. A friend of mine said sniffily that Teresa was out of vogue in the 20th century, but if she's gone out of fashion, I would say that it's time to bring her back. She's so wonderfully straightforward and unfaddish, and her description of prayer is so much more helpful than the old Purgative-Illuminative-Unitive chestnut. I read Garrigou-Lagrange on prayer and just didn't get it. But of course, it's not a question of right or wrong, just what suits you. And Teresa suits me right now. I'm so glad I chose her!

00Sunday, August 27, 2006 7:54 PM
One of my favourites

I've chosen Noli Me Tangere for my first picture here. This is because I've always been moved by Mary Magdalene's awe/fear/joy when she saw The Risen Lord!!!!!!
Thank you, Wulfrune, for starting this most precious thread.
Love always - Mary x [SM=g27822]
00Sunday, August 27, 2006 8:15 PM
Mary.... I'm totally gobsmacked...... that is also one of my top faves.... yet it's not widely known - what a coincidence.... I saw it at the National Gallery some years ago and it stayed in my mind until I managed to dredge up a photo on the internet, print it off and it's on my wall beside me as I write... I know it's a bit trivial, but I love it that Our Lord is in pink - the little blobs on his robe are actually golden.

I love icons, yet am only beginning to understand the theology behind them. I love this one, which has been a great comfort to me personally and saw me through a tough time.

Our Lady the Joy of all that Sorrow (19th century) - the picture depicts Our Lady comforting the sick and suffering who surround her - they are on dry barren ground, reflecting the harshness of their situations. I would like to have a larger poster of this so I could read what they are all saying!
00Sunday, August 27, 2006 8:34 PM
Clare, the icon you posted reminded me of some of the icons we have around our home. I have a smaller version of this one on my desk. I bought it because it was meaningful, and beautiful.

And here is a description of it, from the website I bought it from:

Veneration for this icon has long been associated with intercession on behalf of those suffering spiritually from hardness of heart to convert them to a better Christian life!

Esteemed by Catholic and Orthodox Christians Holy Virgin Mary icon, named "Softening of Evil Hearts" [Umiagchenie Zlyh Serdets- in Russian].
Icons of the 'Seven Arrows' and 'Softening of Evil Hearts' depict the Mother of God with seven swords pointed at Her Soul. They reflect the saying of the Feast of the Meeting of Our Lord when Saint Simeon prophesied that the soul or heart of the Mother of God would be pierced with a sword. There was a veneration for the seven main sorrows of the Mother of God.
The number seven can also stand for the idea of completeness of the pain of the Mother of God which She felt during Her Son's Passion.

[Modificato da PhoenixRising 27/08/2006 20.37]

00Sunday, August 27, 2006 9:11 PM
Wulfrune, what a wonderful idea to open this thread. Thank you! This is just what this Protestant needs to learn more about saints. I know the names of many saints, but how does one get to know more about the theology around them, as Wulfruna mentioned?
Maryjos, the Noli Me Tangere is known to me and I have always loved it. One of the most moving Gospel parts anyhow. [SM=g27836]

00Sunday, August 27, 2006 10:15 PM
Praying to God through the Saints
Well, I had a quick Google about the theology of praying through the saints, and came up with this

The Saints
We can ask any person in heaven, any saint, to join us in prayer.
This includes our relatives who have gone before us.

We do not pray to the saints in the sense that they have any power of their own. We ask them to pray with us to God, just as I can ask you to pray with me to God. We do assume that they can hear us, and, because they are with God, and lived very good holy lives, we feel their prayers joined to ours will be powerful. God would be inclined to listen to such good people who are close to him. However, we do not think it is necessary or essential to pray to saints. Our one mediator is Jesus who is the bridge between us and God. He is really the essential conduit. However, we venerate saints, which is not to say that we give them adoration or honor due to God alone. It means we honor them as people who successfully cooperated with God's grace in this life and are among the great cloud of witnesses in heaven. [See sec. 2683 of the catechism.]They succeeded in Christian life. They say to us that we can succeed too if we persevere. They are fully totally human and their lives give us hope for ourselves, that we too in our own time and place can do God's will successfully.

The whole page looks interesting and covers a lot of really nice ground concerning prayer, which is a subject that many people grapple with
Awaken to Prayer

This kind of icon is sometimes called Our Lady of Tenderness, or Sweet Kissing. I found it on the site above.

Phoenix: Your icon is really lovely!! And wouldn't you know - it's so relevant it bowls me over. I'm praying for someone who is full of anger and hate to have a softening of heart. It truly is harder to wage peace than war, but so worth it!!!

[Modificato da Wulfrune 27/08/2006 22.22]

00Sunday, August 27, 2006 10:49 PM

Late last summer a Catholic friend asked me to pray for her about something. I said I would. She asked me to pray to Our Lady for intercession. Then just as quickly she said, "Oh that's right, your Methodist." We had a long discussion about saints and veneration versus God and worship. So I did as my friend asked. Feeling extremly weird I asked Our Lady to intercede for my friend. Then I asked her something for myself. Within 24hours I had my answer. It wasn't a lightening bolt from Heaven... or trumpets blaring... rather it came very quietly and gently... like a new mother would caress her newborn. My 2nd encounter to a saint was Mary Magdalene. I feel a very close connection with her... the name I took at confirmation was Marie... in honor of all the Marie/Maria/Mary's out there!!!
00Sunday, August 27, 2006 10:57 PM
I think everyone's heart needs to be soften to some extent. [SM=g27819]

One thing that has always fascinated me is the phenomenon of bodily incorruption. Catholicism is the only religion that has this. I found an interesting link about the phenomenon, and it has the back stories of the various Saints who have this, and some pics of their incorrupt bodies. I also found a link for a book about it as well. [SM=g27817]

St. Bernadette

St. Catherine Laboure (1806-1876).

[Modificato da PhoenixRising 27/08/2006 23.05]

00Monday, August 28, 2006 12:48 AM
Thank you, guys/gals
Wulfruna, Phoenix, Nan, thanks for your links and explanations. I'll make a study of this. Wulfruna, the praying "to" saints is something I couldn't understand, for the simple reason that I haven't been brought up with it. I just couldn't understand why we can't pray directly to God in the name of Jesus Christ. Why still more (other) "pathways"? I thought. But I understand now that it is actually a plea for help additional to our own praying?

I wrote on another thread once that I still have this feeling that the souls in Heaven should be set free from "earthly worries", so to speak. I'll feel almost guilty to ask my parents in heaven to pray for me any more - they have done enough praying for me while still alive! This is how my old brain works. I just want them to have peace now. But,on the other hand, I pray for them - asking God to let them know I love them still and to thank them for what they have to me, etc.

There must be some Biblical basis for this tradition of asking for intercession of the saints. I'll probably find it when I try the links. Thanks again.
00Monday, August 28, 2006 6:45 AM
Wonderful idea Wulfrune to open this thread. I love stories about saints. If you want we can exchange images, articles, whatever you want....

This is St. Rosa of Lima, I'll try to find out her history in English and post it here. She was the first not european woman to be canonized
Teresa, maybe you know her as she is "patroness" of Philippines, don't you?

[Modificato da @Nessuna@ 28/08/2006 7.28]

00Monday, August 28, 2006 7:43 AM
00Monday, August 28, 2006 12:57 PM
Incorrupt bodies

Here is a photo I took of Blessed Pope John XXIII, whose body has now been transferred to Saint Peter's and has had a rail and kneeler placed before it, for prayer. The face has had some substance put on it to make it smooth and light - a bit like alabaster. I noticed that Saint Clare, in Assisi, also looks different now: her face has been similarly covered. The last time I saw her body, her face was quite brown - but incorrupt.

This is becoming such a fascinating thread! I think I shall have to develop an awareness of the theology of icons. Those you have posted so far are beautiful. Our Lady always brings comfort - but gently and not always noticeably. She doesn't come like thunder! I talk to her every day at Mass and light a candle; I need her help at the moment, as I'm assailed by something wicked. Prayers please!
Love and Peace - Mary x [SM=g27822]
00Monday, August 28, 2006 3:14 PM
What a splendid idea to start this thread! [SM=g27811]
I'm sure many of us has patron saints that are not widely known. This can be a good opportunity to meet other fantastic people "up there" and learn a lot from their witness to faith.

I myself have a couple of saint patrons, some known and some rather unknown, whom I ask for intercession when I am in any kind of difficulty (that's what friends are for, right? [SM=g27828] )
Or I simply talk to them when I happy.

I've got busy at work right now, but I will gladly share "my saints" with you [SM=x40791]

00Monday, August 28, 2006 4:32 PM
St Pio
Yes please Sue and Nessuna, do share stories of your special saints with us.

It's time we brought out the Padre, I think!!! I know he's very dear to many people here. I would love to visit San Giovanni Rotondo and Pietrelcina.

When I discussed the possibility of this thread with Teresa, we thought it would be good to post pictures that people could print off to make holy pictures for private use. It's well known that there aren't a lot of photos of Padre Pio around, and we are all familiar with the most popular ones, eg:

so here are some possibly less familiar ones

And finally..... as if we needed proof of the good sense of the Italian people....

[Modificato da Wulfrune 28/08/2006 16.35]

00Tuesday, August 29, 2006 1:57 AM
Crochet, I found something on the Biblical basis of the Intercession of the Saints on a Catholic answer site:

Thus, in Psalm 103 we pray, "Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!" (Ps. 103:20–21). And in the opening verses of Psalms 148 we pray, "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!"

Not only do those in heaven pray with us, they also pray for us. In the book of Revelation, John sees that "the twenty-four elders [the leaders of the people of God in heaven] fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" (Rev. 5:8). Thus the saints in heaven offer to God the prayers of the saints on earth.

Angels do the same thing: "[An] angel came and stood at the altar [in heaven] with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God" (Rev. 8:3–4).

Jesus himself warned us not to offend small children, because their guardian angels have guaranteed intercessory access to the Father: "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 18:10).

Because he is the only God-man and the Mediator of the New Covenant, Jesus is the only mediator between man and God (1 Tim. 2:5), but this in no way means we cannot or should not ask our fellow Christians to pray with us and for us (1 Tim. 2:1–4). In particular, we should ask the intercession of those Christians in heaven, who have already had their sanctification completed, for "[t]he prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects" (Jas. 5:16).

I hope this helps. [SM=g27817]

Clare, I found a pic of St. Pio with his Stigmata visible. Lupe, the link about St. Rose was very interesting.

00Tuesday, August 29, 2006 2:57 AM
Thank you very much, PhoenixRising for the link and the extracts. It is kind of you. [SM=g27823]
00Tuesday, August 29, 2006 6:14 AM
All of us Benaddicts know how much Papa admires St. Augustine. I have been reading Papa's book, "Co-Workers of the Truth", a collection of extracts from his writings and homilies arranged one per day throughout the year. Look what Papa has to say about St. Augustine in the entry for August 28. Does it remind you of anyone we know and love?

"He could have been an aristocrat of the spirit, but for the sake of Christ and for the sake of his fellow men, in whom he saw Christ coming toward him, he left the ivory tower of the gifted intellectual in order to be wholly man among men, a servant of the servants of God. For the sake of Christ he emptied himself of his great learning. For the sake of Christ he became increasingly an ordinary person and the servant of all. In doing so he became truly a saint." Dogma und Verkundigung, p. 415

00Tuesday, August 29, 2006 4:15 PM
great thread!i always ask St.Therese,Padre Pio and St.Jude for thier intercession [SM=g27821]
00Tuesday, August 29, 2006 4:48 PM
As I wrote before I have many patron saints, among others St. Anthony, St. Christopher, Padre Pio, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. But my favorite saint is St. Hedwig, Queen of Poland.
I took her name for my confirmation and I feel really close connection to her. What inspires me the most is her ability to unite the virtues of Maria and Martha, prayer and practical activity, a real example for the lay people.

She was born in 1374 as the youngest daughter of King Louis of Poland and Hungary. After Louis' death, she was crowned to be King (sic!) of Poland. Jadwiga's counselors urged the thirteen-year-old queen to accept the hand of Jagiello, Duke of Lithuania, who aspired to the Polish throne. Jagiello was much older than she and still a pagan; but he was ready not only to become a Christian if Jadwiga would have him, but to bring all of Lithuania into the Church.

The queen faced a crisis of conscience. She would have preferred another suitor, whom she was engaged to. In her dilemma, it is said that she walked to the cathedral of Krakow. There she spent hours praying before the Black Crucifix, a remarkable Gothic sculpture of The Savior. And it is believed that He spoke to her saying: “Do what you see”. So she decided to renounce her own will and accept the offer.

She was a strong, beautiful, well-educated woman, known for her charity, care for the poor and sick, founder of numerous hospitals, faculty of theology on the university of Crakow and bishopric of Vilnius.

The people found in her a protector, and the nation and the Church a far-sighted benefactor. There are many stories describing her care for the poor. She was a peace-maker between the King and his half-brother, Duke of Lithuania.
She was a good wife to Jagiello, who really loved her deeply but also looked upon her with a certain awe.

She died at the age of 25, shortly after giving birth to her first child. This also was revealed to her by Christ, it is said. In her last will she gave all her crown jewels for the renovation of the university of Crakow.

St. Hedwig

Her tomb in the Cathedral of Cracow

The Black Crucifix

And other images

The rational (I don't know if this is its correct name in English, in Latin "rationale") worn (very rarely) by Archbishop of Cracow has been made by her own hands.

[Modificato da .Sue. 30/08/2006 13.34]

00Tuesday, August 29, 2006 6:31 PM
St Margaret of Scotland
That's really interesting - I didn't know about St Hedwig. Love the pictures too!!! She reminds me a little of St Margaret of Scotland who also had to marry a man she didn't love for dynastic reasons. I have a special fondness for her, because she was a strong intelligent woman of faith.

Margaret was born in 1046 in Hungary. Her father was an exiled Anglo Saxon prince and her mother a very devout German. Her father was recalled to take up the English crown but died as soon as he landed - perhaps murdered. Margaret's life in Hungary had been very happy, St Stephen, its King, had enlightened views about justice and education and she saw first hand how a Christian ruler can be a force for great good. A Scots prince, Malcolm Canmore, noticed her at the English court and took a fancy to her. From all accounts, Margaret wished to become a nun. She had been educated by Benedictines and was highly intelligent with a strong faith. In 1066 when William of Normandy invaded England and seized the crown, most of the Anglo Saxon court fled, and Margaret, her mother and sister went to Scotland and threw themselves on the mercy of Malcolm Canmore, now King Malcolm III. The King made it clear that his hospitality depended on his marrying Margaret, so she agreed. Her mother and sister both became nuns and one imagines she watched them wistfully, longing to join them.

Margaret threw herself into her work as Queen. Malcolm was a man of his time, a very good warrior, and not above burning churches, sometimes with the parishioners hiding inside..... Margaret did much to soften his savagery. he couldn't read, but it is said that he used to note her favourite passages from her holy books and kiss the pages. A very old manuscript book at the Bodleian Library in Oxford is believed to have been hers, though the jewelled cover is long gone. Margaret improved justice, to help the powerless have greater access to the law, she gave alms to the poor, including her own possessions, and she invited the Benedictines to Scotland to help to bring the gospel to the nation. Parts of Scotland at the time had been poorly evangelised and religion could be a mix of pagan and Christian elements. She fasted and prayed.

Like Hedwig she put duty first and was a model wife to a man she would not have chosen for herself - but who adored her. She died in 1093.

I like the icon of her as I think it conveys a slightly melancholy character, which I believe she was. She died two days after receiving the news that her husband and a son had been killed in battle.

Her chapel at Edinburgh castle is remarkably preserved, and well worth a visit. It's tiny.

This is the smallest image I could find of the interior, but it doesn't quite show all the wonderful early carving

From outside

My husband (and thus my children) are descended from her - but then so are very many other people!!!!

[Modificato da Wulfrune 29/08/2006 18.40]

[Modificato da Wulfrune 29/08/2006 18.54]

00Tuesday, August 29, 2006 8:38 PM
St. Agnes of Bohemia

Saint Agnes of Bohemia (or Agnes of Prague) was the first saint from a Central European country to be canonized by Pope John Paul II before the 1989 Velvet Revolution. She was canonized on November 12, 1989, in Rome. There is barock legend that after canonization of Agnes of Bohemia will be better in Bohemia. Due to this fact many people called the Velvet revolution as revolution of Agnes who helped defeat 40 years communistic era only for 5 days !!!(revolution started 17th November, 5 days after her canonization)

Agnes was born in Prague in 1211, dying there in March 1282.

Agnes was the daughter of Bohemian king Premysl Otakar I and Constance of Hungary, the sister of King Andrew II of Hungary. She was entrusted to the Cistercian order at Trzebnica to be educated at the age of three, returning to Prague at the age of 6 for further education.

In 1220, she was engaged to Henry, son of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, and went to live at his court in Vienna. She remained there until 1225, when she broke off her engagement to return to Prague. Like other noble women of her time, Agnes was a valuable pawn in the marriage game. In 1226 her father Otakar went to war against Frederick II as a result of her broken engagement to the latter's son, Henry II. Otakar then planned for her to marry Henry III of England, but this was vetoed by the Emperor.

Agnes then decided to devote her life to religious works, and with the help of Pope Gregory IX, she was eventually given the freedom to devote herself entirely to God. She became a member of the Poor Clares, a religious order founded by Clare of Assisi on Franciscan principles. Using her own assets, she founded the hospital of St. Francis (ca. 1232-33) and her own abbey, built in the Gothic architecture style for which Prague is famous. She is the patron saint of Bohemia.

[Modificato da Maklara 29/08/2006 20.42]

00Thursday, August 31, 2006 6:34 PM
Mary, Untier of Knots

Maria Als Knotenlöserin

This devotion became known in the 18th century, originally for help in a difficult marriage. In the early 17th century, a noble couple were on the brink of divorce, and their priest prayed before Our Lady of Victory, holding up a ribbon (symbolic of the ribbon placed over the hands of a briday couple) praying that all the knots in the marriage might be ironed out. The marriage was saved. Some years later, a priest relative of theirs, Hieronymus Ambrosius Langenmantel(1666-1709) of Augsburg, commissioned this painting for a family altar.

Spirit Daily had an article recently about Mary Undoer of Knots, and parts of it are worth pasting here, as the devotion goes beyond marital problems, and can be used during many other kinds of crisis.

There's a fascinating painting that has been venerated in a church in Perlach, Germany, since 1700. It was painted by an unknown artist and apparently inspired by a meditation made by St. Irenaeus -- who once said: "Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race; to the contrary, Mary, by her obedience, undid it."

There we have it. Mary, Undoer of Knots. Now that's a title for her! Mary, help when there is no way out. The image shows Mary with a crown of 12 stars and a fluttering blue mantle. Around her are angels. Beneath her feet is the serpent -- the one who ensnares and entangles.

The point: when Mary is invoked, she untangles our knots and it is then the serpent who is tangled!

As is also readily observed, one of the angels in the painting holds the ribbon of your life as the Blessed Mother calmly and easily goes about straightening out all the knots in it.

A mysterious and beautiful image this is! Usually we think of the knots in our lives as particular troubling situations, but they are also problems we have had for years, perhaps deep hurts between husband and wife, anger, resentment, sinful inclinations, the absence of peace and joy at home.

This, apparently, is where Mary Undoer (or "untier") of Knots comes in.

A knot can be a son addicted to drugs. It can be alcoholism. It can be guilt. It can be fear or depression or unemployment.

The point is that Mary comes to our aid in many circumstances.

"Knots are original sin and its consequences in all areas of family, work, and community life," points out the tiny novena pamphlet. In the painting, we see that while one angel hands the Blessed Mother a knotted ribbon, another to her right is taking the untangled part and perhaps preparing to return to earth below with it.

In the darkness of earth is seen a person who is led by an angel to a church at the top of a mountain. This, says one interpretation, is the Archangel Raphael who accompanies Tobias to meet Sarah, the one chosen to be his wife. Sarah is unburdened from a great "knot" which blocks her happiness. "By the mediation of the Archangel Raphael, God unites Sarah to Tobias, showing us that humility, trust, and faith in God is what moves the Divine Hands in our lives," says the explanation for the mysterious art. "This extraordinary story is present in this painting to show us that 'Mary the Undoer of Knots' grants innumerable graces to matrimony and powerfully intercedes for the reconciliation of families."

When Raphael is involved, there is healing!

Again we hear an echo of the words: "In prayer you shall perceive the greatest joy and the way out of every situation that has no exit."

Think of it: even when intellectually we can't figure out a resolution or means of escape, God can turn things around in such a way that there is a sudden opening and there are angels and we are suddenly saved. (Michael Brown)

I don't have the novena booklet, as it only seems avaiable in English in the USA, but anyone interested might like to visit

[Modificato da Wulfrune 31/08/2006 18.38]

00Thursday, August 31, 2006 6:36 PM
In Memory of My Mother

My Mum truly loved this painting "The Light of the World" by Holman Hunt. She had an icon-type [on wood] of it in her living room - I let it go. How I wish I hadn't!
My Mum's name was Margaret, by the way.
Mary xxxxxx
--The point: when Mary is invoked, she untangles our knots and it is then the serpent who is tangled!
How comforting those words are! I've just caught up with the stories and pictures here and it's all so interesting and spiritually uplifting!

[Modificato da maryjos 31/08/2006 18.42]

00Friday, September 1, 2006 7:32 PM

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

A brilliant philosopher who stopped believing in God when she was 14, Edith Stein was so captivated by reading the autobiography of Teresa of Avila that she began a spiritual journey that led to her Baptism in 1922. Twelve years later she imitated Teresa by becoming a Carmelite, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.
Born into a prominent Jewish family in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland), Edith abandoned Judaism in her teens. As a student at the University of Göttingen, she became fascinated by phenomenology, an approach to philosophy. Excelling as a protégé of Edmund Husserl, one of the leading phenomenologists, Edith earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1916. She continued as a university teacher until 1922 when she moved to a Dominican school in Speyer; her appointment as lecturer at the Educational Institute of Munich ended under pressure from the Nazis.

After living in the Cologne Carmel (1934-38), she moved to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, Netherlands. The Nazis occupied that country in 1940. In retaliation for being denounced by the Dutch bishops, the Nazis arrested all Dutch Jews who had become Christians. Teresa Benedicta and her sister Rosa, also a Catholic, died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz on August 9, 1942.

Pope John Paul II beatified Teresa Benedicta in 1987 and canonized her in 1998.

00Saturday, September 2, 2006 4:06 AM
Bridget of Sweden

Saint BirgittaSaint Birgitta, also known as St. Bridget of Sweden and Birgitta of Vadstena (1303 – July 23, 1373), was a mystic and saint, and founder of the Bridgettine Order.

The most celebrated saint of Sweden and the northern kingdoms, was the daughter of Birger Persson of the family of Finsta, governor and lawspeaker of Uppland, and one of the richest landowners of the country, and his wife, a member of the so-called Lawspeaker branch of the Folkunga family. Through her mother, young Birgitta was relation of the Swedish kings of her lifetime.

In 1316 she was married to Ulf Gudmarson of the family of Ulvåsa, lord of Närke, to whom she bore eight children, one of whom was afterwards honoured as St. Catherine of Sweden. Birgitta’s saintly and charitable life soon made her known far and wide; she gained, too, great religious influence over her husband, with whom (1341–1343) she went on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

In 1344, shortly after their return, Ulf died in the Cistercian monastery of Alvastra in Östergötland, and Birgitta now devoted herself wholly to religion. As a child she had already believed herself to have visions; these now became more frequent, and her records of these Revelationes coelestes ("Celestial revelations") which were translated into Latin by Matthias, canon of Linköping, and by her confessor, Peter prior of Alvastra, obtained a great vogue during the Middle Ages. It was about this time that she founded the order of St. Saviour, or the Bridgettines of which the principal house, at Vadstena, was richly endowed by King Magnus II of Sweden and his queen.

About 1350 she went to Rome, partly to obtain from the pope the authorization of the new order, partly in pursuance of her self-imposed mission to elevate the moral tone of the age. It was not till 1370 that Pope Urban V confirmed the rule of her order, but meanwhile Birgitta had made herself universally beloved in Rome by her kindness and good works. Save for occasional pilgrimages, including one to Jerusalem in 1373, she remained in Rome until her death on July 23, 1373. She was canonized in 1391 by Pope Boniface IX, and confirmed by the Council of Constance, 1415.

In 1651 the Brigitta Chapel was errected in Vienna, 1900 the new district Brigittenau was founded.

In 1999, Pope John Paul II chose Birgitta as Europe's patron saint. Her feast is celebrated on July 23 (formerly October 8).

[Modificato da NanMN 02/09/2006 4.13]

00Saturday, September 2, 2006 8:09 PM
Saint Bridget
Nan, how lovely that you bring to our attention the great saint of the country of your origin. The "northern" saints sometimes tend to get neglected.

By the way, what did you all think of the Veronica Veil and the framed icon that was presented to Papa yesterday? I've read a lot about this. The fabric is so fine [made from mussel shells, I believe], that no image could have been painted on it. I believe in it. The Veronica story is one of my favourites and it's depicted so beautifully in the film "The Passion of the Christ". The woman steps forward with a clean, white cloth and she wipes Christ's face; a soldier knocks from her hand the little jug of water she was going to give Christ to drink. As she retreats into the crowd, we clearly see the image of Christ's face appearing, gradually on the cloth. Oh, who could not believe in that?
Love, peace and the choy of Christ to you all! Mary xxxxx
00Sunday, September 3, 2006 1:14 AM

Canadian couple tracks saints at churches, museums worldwide

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- St. George is an easy one. He's almost always portrayed as the gallant figure mounted on a white steed driving a lance through the heart of a writhing dragon. And that bearded man preaching to the birds? It must be St. Francis of Assisi, the noted peacemaker and animal lover. But what of the elderly man with two doves perched on an open book? Or how about the pilgrim who points to an open wound on his leg while a dog sits at his feet carrying a loaf of bread in its jaws? Those were some of the questions that came to the minds of Edward and Lorna Mornin as the Canadian couple toured churches and art galleries throughout the world over the last three decades. With few books to explain why these iconic figures in stone, plaster and glass were portrayed as they were, the Mornins decided to research it themselves. The fruit of their three-year effort, "Saints: A Visual Guide," was recently published by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company in Michigan.
00Sunday, September 3, 2006 7:21 PM
One of my favourites

I picked this one out at the same time as the Noli Me Tangere. It's often seen cropped, with just Our Lady's face. I love the colours and also her expression.
My gift to you all, this Sunday!
Love, Mary xxx [SM=g27811] [SM=g27822] [SM=g27822] [SM=g27822]
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