The Word Among Us

July/August 2017 Issue

The Saint Who Never Retired

As a mother, then as a monastic, Bridget of Sweden kept pressing forward.

By: Ann Bottenhorn

The Saint Who Never Retired: As a mother, then as a monastic, Bridget of Sweden kept pressing forward. by  Ann Bottenhorn

Bridget was in her forties. Her children were grown, and her husband had recently died. Well-off and well provided for, she could have rested and enjoyed her grandchildren. Had she lived in the twenty-first century, retirement advisers might have asked Bridget to make a list of what she wanted to do for the rest of her life: develop a new hobby, travel, learn something new, or perhaps write.

But this was 1344, and Bridget Birgersdotter, a Swedish noblewoman, didn’t have a retirement adviser or a travel agent. Instead, her guides...

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