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Provincial House of the Immaculate Conception.

Blessed Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad

Of Swedish origin, Mother M. Elizabeth Hesselblad (1870-1957) converted from Lutheranism to Roman Catholicism in the United States. Ill and with little hope of recovery she journeyed to Rome to the house of her great compatriot Saint Bridget, where she was able to remain thanks to special permission given by Pope Saint Pius X. She was called “the second Bridget “; and after a gap of six centuries the spirit of Saint Bridget once again flourished in Rome and elsewhere thanks to the courage, strength and perseverance of Mother Elizabeth.

It was not her intention originally to found a new Order, only to revive the ancient Order in the same house where Bridget had lived and died. She cherished the dream of taking the Bridgettine Sisters back to Sweden once more and of letting the Order take root in any country desired by God, so that the true spirit of Christian unity and service of others would be spread, just as it had been spread by the ancient Order of Saint Bridget. The communities founded by Mother Elizabeth under a central authority without Papal en-closure, and her insistence that they are an integral part of the ancient Order of the Most Holy Saviour, commonly called Bridgettines, gave rise to much criticism and sometimes to controversy. However after thirty years of continuous trials and persevering through difficulties of all kinds, her Order was canonically approved and on 7th July 1940 it was recognized as being under Cannon Law. Today, the Order of the Most Holy Saviour of Saint Bridget, founded by the Blessed Elizabeth Hesselblad, consists of fifty houses spread over in three continents, working ever faithfully to the charisma given to them by Mother Elisabeth.

Bl. Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad was beatified on April 9th 2000 by the Servant of God, John Paul II. This humble yet great Sister, transfused the treasures of her spirit, her faith and her love to the Institute she founded, with the sole intention of making it a humble instrument for the spreading of the Kingdom of God on earth.

Read more about Blessed Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad at Suore Brigidine: Order of the Most Holy Savior of St. Bridiget.

Our contemplative sisters at the Monastery of Bl Gabriella of Unity in Pontinia, Italy are dedicated to praying for the unity of all Christians.  Bl. Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad is one of the co-patrons of their monastery.  Ut unum sint.  “That they may all be one.”

ssvm ut unum sint monastery Pontinia