Saturday, July 25, 2009

Another Take from Saint Birgitta

video

The most celebrated saint of Sweden 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 a relation of the Swedish kings of her lifetime.

In 1316, when she was 13 she married Ulf Gudmarsson of the family of Ulvåsa, lord of Närke, to whom she bore eight children, four daughters and four sons. All of them survived infancy, which was very rare at that time. 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 Abbey in Östergötland, and Birgitta then devoted herself wholly to religion.

It was about this time that she founded the Order of the Holy Saviour, or the Brigittines, of which the principal house at Vadstena was richly endowed by King Magnus Eriksson of Sweden and his queen.

About 1350 she went to Rome, partly to obtain from the pope the authorization of the new order and partly in pursuance of her self-imposed mission to elevate the moral tone of the age. It was not until 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 originally buried at San Lorenzo in Panisperna before being moved to Sweden. She was canonized in the year 1391 by Pope Boniface IX, and confirmed by the Council of Constance in 1415.


Visions

With her attributes in a 1476 breviary for Birgittine use.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. Her visions of the Nativity of Jesus had a great influence on depictions of the Nativity of Jesus in art. Shortly before her death, she described a vision which included the infant Jesus as lying on the ground, and emitting light himself, and describes the Virgin as blond-haired; many depictions followed this and reduced other light sources in the scene to emphasize this effect, and the Nativity remained very commonly treated with chiaroscuro through to the Baroque. Other details often seen such as a single candle "attached to the wall," and the presence of God the Father above, also come from Bridget's vision:

...the virgin knelt down with great veneration in an attitude of prayer, and her back was turned to the manger.... And while she was standing thus in prayer, I saw the child in her womb move and suddenly in a moment she gave birth to her son, from whom radiated such an ineffable light and splendour, that the sun was not comparable to it, nor did the candle that St. Joseph had put there, give any light at all, the divine light totally annihilating the material light of the candle.... I saw the glorious infant lying on the ground naked and shining. His body was pure from any kind of soil and impurity. Then I heard also the singing of the angels, which was of miraculous sweetness and great beauty...[1]

After this the Virgin kneels to pray to her child, to be joined by St Joseph, and this (technically known as the Adoration of the Child) becomes one of the commonest depictions in the fifteenth century, largely replacing the reclining Virgin in the West. Versions of this depiction occur as early as 1300, well before Bridget's vision, and have a Franciscan origin, by which she may have been influenced.[2]

Her visions of purgatory were also well known.

***This video closes to reference Einstein's EPR Theory a.k.a electron time reversal pardigm where light acts dually as particle and wave. Could Saint Birgitta's vision's prophesize man's discovery of the Fusion Technology talked about in Dan Brown's "Angels & Demons"? Will it come from the center of the Milky Way?

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