Pastoral Notes 22nd July, 2018

Saints of the week…
Sweden had their part in the recent Football World Cup, and on Monday 23rd July the Church remembers a St. Bridget of Sweden, who died AD 1373. She was married 28 years, bearing eight children, four boys and four girls, before her husband died. She was summoned to service at the royal court of Sweden when aged 20, but her efforts at influencing the royal heads of state were not successful. Bridget made a pilgrimage to Compostella in Spain, where many still travel, a special shrine of St James the apostle (remembered on Wednesday 25th July). Bridget founded a religious order of men and women, herself settling eventually in Rome. Her house is a shrine of the Order to this day. One of the canonised martyrs of England and Wales, St Richard Reynolds, was a member of the Order of St Bridget, and is remembered also in Rome. The Reformation seemed to eventually bring to an end the Order of St Bridget, but it was re-established for women in the 19th century, and a house of the sisters is in our diocese, at Iver, in Buckinghamshire. Blessings on family life may be recalled on Thursday (26th July), the feast of SS Joachim and Anne, names given to the parents of the Virgin Mary.