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The Miracles of St. Bridget and Her Daughter St. Katherine
University of Kalmar, School of Human Sciences.
1993 (English)In: Studies in St. Birgitta and the Brigittine Order 1 / [ed] James Hogg, Salzburg: Institut fûr Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Universität Salzburg , 1993, p. 65-84Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When a person with a reputation for holiness died, it was common for people to seek that person's grave to give thanks for, or hoping to benefit from miraculous cures. Especially when the cult was new, pilgrims' tales were taken down in order to promote the cult or substantiate the request for canonization. The miracles of St. Birgitta of Sweden were collected at various stages between 1374 and 1390 and the writing down of the miracles of her daughter St. Katherine of Vadstena begun shortly after 1410, but was for the major part undertaken between 1469 and 1477.

The pilgrimage was often the result of a conditional vow to the saint, sometimes inspired by other persons' stories about the saint's ability to help. Another way of determining which saint to turn to was the casting of lots. In some cases, the miraculous cure might seen to have been brought about by a sort of cooperation between the saint and the persons present, while in other cases the efficacious help of the saint is contrasted to the inefficiency of human efforts. The miracles sometimes exceed the expectations of those who prayed for it, but in other cases it is clear that the healing is only partial. In the few cases where entirely unsuccessful supplications to a saint are described, their only meaning were to direct the supplicant to another saint—the one whose miracles are chiefly registered in the collection.

Visions both of the saint and of demons are relatively common in the collections of Birgitta and Katherine. A particularly interesting tale relates the possession of demons experienced by a young woman of Östra Husby in Östergötland, and the efforts made by the clerics of the young monastery in Vadstena to exorcise them. Their success is doubtful. One is rather given the expression that the young woman, Christina, held on to her demons.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Salzburg: Institut fûr Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Universität Salzburg , 1993. p. 65-84
Series
Analecta cartusiana, ISSN 0253-1593 ; 35: 19
Keywords [en]
Cult of saints, Birgitta of Sweden, Katherine of Vadstena, pilgrimage, miracle tales, medieval women
Keywords [sv]
Helgonkult, Birgitta av Vadstena, Katarina av Vadstena, vallfart, mirakelberättelser, medeltida kvinnor
National Category
History
Research subject
Humanities, History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-13648ISBN: 3-7052-0631-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-13648DiVA, id: diva2:432775
Projects
Miracles in the NorthAvailable from: 2011-08-05 Created: 2011-08-05 Last updated: 2011-09-14Bibliographically approved

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Fröjmark, Anders

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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