Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden

Description

Saint Birgitta (or Bridget) of Sweden (circa 1303–73) was known for her revelations, which she reportedly wrote down in Swedish and then had translated into Latin by one of her two confessors. When she took ill, she changed her usual practice, and dictated her revelations to one of the confessors, who then translated them into Latin. In the manuscript collection at the National Library of Sweden is preserved a document that offers a unique insight into the origins of Birgitta’s revelations. It consists of three leaves of paper, one a single leaf and two sewn together, on which is a draft, written in Swedish by Birgitta herself, of two revelations. The text contains many spelling errors and changes in Birgitta’s hand that support the conclusion that these were drafts. The language used by Birgitta contained some loan words in Latin and uncommon native expressions. The autographs were owned by the Vadstena Abbey, the principal house of the Bridgettines, the religious community founded by Saint Birgitta in circa 1350. The abbey was dispersed in 1595 and the manuscript eventually came to the National Library of Sweden in 1854.

Last updated: September 10, 2014