Saint Bridget of Sweden (+1373) was known for her kindness, her patience, her good works, first, as a wife and mother of six children, all of them surviving infancy, which was rare at that time (and up until modern obstetrics), including one canonized saint, Catherine, also of Sweden. After her husband’s death in 1344, she made various pilgrimages, to Bethlehem, Rome, Jerusalem, retired to a life of prayer and penance, founding the Congregation of the Most Holy Saviour, known more commonly as the Brigitinnes, which had the unique characteristic of being ‘co-ed’, with both men and women, in separate cloisters,

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