Art and Photography CMJENTZ ©2016
St Birgitta's Influence in Art
St Birgitta influenced the way artists painted biblical scenes as she left a wealth of meditations. Her remarkable and detailed descriptions on the birth of Christ inspired countless artists. Below is one example from the painter, Petrus Christus, 1450.
The Nativity by Petrus Christus
The Catholic Church in Sweden has been through some heartbreaking times since the days of St Birgitta. Only recently has it experienced a regrowth beginning with the repeal of intolerance acts in 1781. You can read about this country's turbulent past here.
One news article explains that "Despite, or perhaps because of, the apathy, modernism, hedonism, immorality, liberalism, secularism and atheism in Swedish society, the Catholic Church in Sweden is growing."
"To an increasing number of Swedes, Catholicism is a great light amidst a chaotic, modernist darkness."
“'Catholic spirituality has had a great impact, [including] on many Protestants. In addition, we stick to Tradition and don’t change our dogmas and ethical principles. The testimony of ordinary faithful can be the first step towards discovering the Catholic faith,' said Catholic Bishop Arborelius. 'Still, in a secularized society as ours, the common Christian heritage can help us to work together in many ways.'”
As much as ecumenical gestures are appreciated by many in the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther, Saint Birgitta and Saint Elizabeth Hasselblad, a convert to Catholicism, would have certainly encouraged those Christians practicing outside of the Catholic faith to consider more seriously what they are missing.
Newly elected Cardinal Anders Arborelius of Sweden, a convert to Catholicism, explained one difficulty when asked in an interview about "how far should the Church go with Lutherans before one says: That’s close enough, our differences are still too great?" He responded, "Well, it’s very difficult to say. I would say it the other way around: When we come close, it becomes more painful that there are divisions; for instance, on the question of the Eucharist. Many Lutherans say: 'Why can’t we have inter-communion now?' And we have to say, 'No, there are still very different things we have to discuss about the Eucharist, about the ministry and so forth.' "
The Swedish Condition
Today, Sweden is in a rapid Christian decline with one recent poll finding that only 15% of Church of Sweden (CS) members actually believe in Jesus". The statistics are shocking and disturbing. Common sense suggests that it would not be prudent or advisable for Swedish Catholics to move in the CS direction.
"Gustav was elected king of Sweden in 1523 [Reformation], when Sweden finally freed herself from the Kalmar Union and became independent. The Vasa Dynasty, which was to rule Sweden for the next 130 years, was thus established, and Gustav came to be regarded as the founder of modern Sweden. Since the new king was never got crowned, the date of his election was chosen to be Sweden’s National Day".
More about Uppsala Scott here.
Quotes about ST Birgitta (Bridget ) of Sweden:
A Call to holiness
On a recent visit to Sweden the current Pope said "holiness is not seen so much in great deeds and extraordinary events, but rather in daily fidelity to the demands of our Baptism."
"One characteristic of the saints is that they are genuinely happy people – that’s why they are known as blessed. He recalled in particular the 14th century Saint Bridget of Sweden, co-patron of Europe, and the 20th century Saint Mary Elisabeth Hesselblad, a Swedish nurse, canonized in St Peter’s Square earlier this year."
Update: Found in "Soul" Magazine, FALL 2017 click on image to enlarge
Notes, Art, Photography CMJENTZ ©2013-2018
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Christine M. (CM) Jentz.
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“It is with the smallest brushes that the artist paints the most exquisitely beautiful pictures.” (St. André Bessette)