St. Bridget of Sweden, Widow: Missa “Cognovi, Domine”
Saint Brigetta (Bridget) of Sweden was born about the year 1302 in Sweden, and belonged to an illustrious as well as pious family. She was the daughter of Birger Persson, governor and provincial judge (Lagman) of Uppland, and of Ingeborg Bengtsdotter. Shortly after her birth Bridget lost her saintly mother. Her father then undertook to raise her with the aid of an aunt.
Saint Bridget was born into the Swedish royal family in the year 1302, the daughter of very virtuous Christian parents. More than one prophetic episode attended the birth of Bridget, whose voice would be heard with admiration by the entire world, according to a bishop of her country. Curiously, for three years she said not a word, then began to speak with facility and clarity, like persons of mature years. At the age of seven, after her mother had died, she beheld the Mother of God, who presented her with a beautiful crown. She became sober, modest, candid, humble, and peaceful. At the age of ten she saw Our Lord as He was on the Cross, and she began to meditate constantly on the mysteries of the Passion, while occupying herself exteriorly with needlework.
In obedience to her father, she was married to Prince Ulpho of Sweden. Saint Bridget became the mother of eight children, four boys and four girls, one of whom, Saint Catherine of Sweden, is honored as a Saint. Their four sons died young, two during one of the crusades. After some years she and her husband separated by mutual consent; he entered the Cistercian Order, where he died thirty years before his holy spouse. After his death, her life became still more austere; for her guide she had a celebrated Doctor of Theology, a Canon of the cathedral of Linkoeping. Severe for herself, Saint Bridget remained gentle for the poor and nourished twelve persons every day, serving them herself; she established hospices for the sick and the convalescent. She founded the Order of the Holy Saviour for sixty nuns, at the Abbey of Wastein or Wadstena in Sweden.
Saint Bridget received a series of sublime revelations, all of which she scrupulously submitted to the judgment of her confessor. During a famous pilgrimage which she made to Rome at the command of her Lord, He dictated to her the Fifteen Prayers of Saint Bridget, in honor of His Passion. Saint Bridget also went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land with her daughter, Saint Catherine, and amid the very scenes of the Passion was further instructed in the sacred mysteries. She died in Rome, after her return from this pilgrimage, in 1373 on 23 July. Her feast was not in the Tridentine Calendar, but was inserted in the General Roman Calendar in 1623 for celebration on 7 October, the day of her 1391 canonization by Pope Boniface IX.
INTROIT Psalm 118: 75, 120
I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are equity, and in Thy truth Thou hast humbled me : pierce Thou my flesh with Thy fear, I am afraid of Thy judgments. (Psalm 118) Blessed are the undefiled in the way : who walk in the law of the Lord. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat… I know, O Lord…
O Lord, our God, Who through your only-begotten Son revealed secrets to blessed Bridget, grant that through her kind intercession, we, Your servants, may rejoice and be glad in the revelation of Your eternal glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.
EPISTLE 1 Timothy 5: 3-10
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to Timothy. Dearly beloved: Honor widows, that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children, or grandchildren, let her learn first to govern her own house, and to make a return of duty to her parents: for this is acceptable before God. But she that is a widow indeed and desolate, let her trust in God, and continue in prayers and supplications night and day. For she that liveth in pleasures, is dead while she is living. And this give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any man have not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Let a widow be chosen of no less than threescore years of age, who hath been the wife of one husband, having testimony for her good works, if she have brought up children, if she have received to harbor, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have ministered to them that suffer tribulation, íf she have diligently followed every good work.
GRADUAL/TRACT Ecclus. 44. 5
Grace is poured abroad in thy lips: therefore hath God blessed thee for ever. V. Because of truth, and meekness, and justice: and thy right hand shall conduct thee wonderfully. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 44: 5) With thy comeliness, and thy beauty, set out, proceed prosperously, and reign. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matt 13:44-52
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to His disciples: The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field; he who finds it hides it, and in his joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he finds a single pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net cast into the sea that gathered in fish of every kind. When it was filled, they hauled it out, and sitting down on the beach, they gathered the good fish into vessels, but threw away the bad. So will it be at the end of the world. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from among the just, and will cast them into the furnace of fire, where there will be the weeping, and the gnashing of teeth. Have you understood all these things? They said to Him, Yes. And He said to them, So then, every Scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings forth from his storeroom things new and old.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 44: 3
Grace is poured abroad in thy lips : therefore God hath blessed thee for ever and for ages of ages.
O Lord, may the offerings of Your devoted people be pleasing to You in honor of Your saints, through whose merits they know they have received help in time of trial. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
PREFACE of the Common
It is truly meet and just, and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ, our Lord. Though whom the angels praise thy majesty, the dominions adore it, the powers are in awe. Which the heavens and the hosts of heaven together with the blessed seraphim joyfully do magnify. And do thou command that it be permitted to us join with them in confessing thee, while we say with lowly praise: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Psalm 33. 8
Thou hast loved injustice and hated iniquity : therefore God thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Alleluia.
You have filled Your people, O Lord, with sacred gifts; ever comfort us, we beseech You, by the intercession of her whose festival we are celebrating. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.