15 Saint Bridget Prayers

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The 15 Prayers revealed by Our Lord to Saint Bridget of Sweden in the Church of St. Paul at Rome. I have read that the Prayers were approved by Pope Pius IX. Does that mean that as Catholic's we can say these Prayers and believe the 15 promises that come with saying the Prayers? The total number of Prayers is 5480 to be said in 1 year's time,to honor the 5480 Blows Our Lord received during his Passion.
Thanks, David

-- (David@excite.com), August 15, 2001



Hello, David.
Here are a few pieces of information that may help you:
(1) St. Bridget (actually "Birgitta") of Sweden spent the last years of her life in Rome, where she died around 1370.
(2) She was a mystic who is alleged to have received sacred visions and locutions. She may very well have written the fifteen prayers and the promises associated with them. If they are genuine, they were passed down through some generations by hand-copying, before the invention of the printing press.
(3) I do believe that the prayers, which are quite beautiful, were praised by several popes. I have found the following statement about them: "On May 31, 1862, the collection of small books containing these prayers was blessed by His Holiness Pope Pius IX. On August 22 of the following year, this collection was recommended by the Great Congress of Malines."
(4) The promises and the mention of over 5,400 blows received by Jesus come from private revelations which have not been rejected by the Church. I know that at least one publication in which they are mentioned has an "Imprimatur" and "Nihil obstat" (indicating that an official opinion was given that the revelations/promises contain nothing that is contrary to the Catholic faith). Each of us is free to believe or disbelieve that the private revelations were genuine (or were simply pious meditations).
(5) St. Birgitta founded orders of men and women religious. Although several houses of nuns exist, only one monastery of religious men exists today. Unfortunately (in my opinion), the monks there do not use the "15 prayers of St. Bridget."
(6) I would not discourage anyone from using the prayers. However, I would give a word of caution. They were translated into English some centuries ago, when Christians were not as careful about how they spoke of the Jewish people as we are today. Consequently two or three of the fifteen prayers have negative references to "the Jews," which can be misinterpreted by some people to be an unfair, blanket condemnation of everyone who practiced Judaism at the time of Jesus's life on earth. A person praying the prayers should keep in mind that the term, "the Jews," refers only to "the Jewish opponents of Jesus."

St. James, pray for us. St. Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
God bless you.

-- (jgecik@amdg.ihs), August 15, 2001.

Oh, I forgot to leave a link where the prayers can be seen on the Internet:
Here it is.

-- (jgecik@amdg.ihs), August 15, 2001.

Dear David,
There's a fine line between making the exact interpretation of promises like Saint Bridget's with FAITH in God's words, and entering into the recitation of her 15 prayers like a contract with Jesus Christ.

If the Catholic Church hasn't recommended belief in the efficacy of this special grace, she hasn't told us it's FALSE, either.

The key word is faith. Not faith in counting all the prayers, and your profits from the prayers, but faith in Jesus Christ. Because He would not give you a promise He couldn't keep. It's not your work that makes Him happy with you. It's the way you try to please Him, out of love.

The reason He offered Saint Bridget this special grace, we assume-- is that He loved the way SHE placed all her faith in Him. In every work on this earth we choose to do for Him, it's our faith He'll reward. Not the work. So, if you can complete the set of prayers and say them with all your heart, it's your FAITH in His promise that He loves you for. Saint Bridget must have meant these 15 rewards would follow just because Jesus told her so. Why should we doubt her?

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), August 15, 2001.

John, Eugene, Thanks For the Help. I did not doubt her. I do say the Prayers and I do have faith in them. I actually wanted Eugene or John's opinion on the 15 Prayers, because I have alot of respect for the knowledge that both of you guy's have on the Catholic Religion. I also have alot of repect of the knowledge that most people on board have.If anyone else is familiar with Prayers, Please share your thought about them with me. I would assume that the answer to my question on Brother Estanislao is almost the same,except I read He died Saintly. I did not read that Brother Estanislao is a Saint of The Catholic Church.I also read He was a privileged Soul who received messages from Heaven.Confessors and Theologians recognized these Supernatural Facts.I do not think the Saintly Brother would of made them up. Thank you both for your help. God Bless you Both, and Thank you Jesus for this board with such knowledgable Catholic's that give so much time helping me with all my questions. I don't think I could come up with a question that couldn't be answered correctly here. It is no money involved either! What a gift! David

-- (David@excite.com), August 16, 2001.

Hello, John

Thank you for putting up that link last year for me. Do you know where one could read the 15 promises Our Lord made to anyone who recited the 15 St. Bridget Prayers for a whole year.

I didn't see them in the link provided. Maybe I will go back and check again.


-- David (David@excite.com), July 06, 2002.



October 1, 1999

"Understandably, some aspects of [St. Bridget's] remarkable mystical output raised questions at the time; the Church's discernment constantly referred these back to public revelation alone, which has its fullness in Christ and its normative expression in Sacred Scripture. Even the experiences of the great Saints are not free of those limitations which always accompany the human reception of God's voice.

"Yet there is no doubt that the Church, which recognized Bridget's holiness without ever pronouncing on her individual revelations, has accepted the overall authenticity of her interior experience. She stands as an important witness to the place reserved in the Church for a charism lived in complete docility to the Spirit of God and in full accord with the demands of ecclesial communion."

Full text:


-- Chris B -- July 07, 2002.


Hello, David. You're welcome.

I don't believe that the promises are at the linked site -- and probably for a very good reason: the fact that they are not genuine and not approved by the Church. Sorry if that comes as a shock to you. I did some prowling on the Internet and found two things to pass along to you -- one pleasant thing about the prayers, and one unpleasant thing about the promises. Here they are:

" The prayers [attributed to St. Bridget, but more probably written by English Brigittine mystics] ... are a very tender meditation on Christ's passion and death. They were quite popular during the late Middle Ages and were a frequent item in many a Medieval prayer book. The prayers serve a two-fold purpose, a catechetical one and a penitential one. In narrating the sequence of events of Christ's passion and death, they serve as a short summary of the events as outlined in the Gospels. In this capacity they fulfill a basic catechetical function in teaching about Christ's passion and death. The second function of the prayers is to excite the reader to a greater sense of sorrow for his sins and to motivate him to a greater love of Jesus who suffered so much for our sake. In this capacity they fulfill a penitential role."

"Sometime after their composition a list of promises unfortunately became attached to these prayers. Over the centuries these promises have varied in number, but 21 promises is the most common form these days. The usual claim is that these promises were revealed to St. Bridget when she was at St. Paul's in Rome. The promises list a series of ... benefits for those who recite the prayers daily for a whole year, namely the release of the souls of one's relatives from purgatory and the conversion of one's descendants from sin. These promises were not given to St. Bridget nor do they have any ecclesiastical standing whatsoever. It is regrettable that these promises are still published in prayer books these days [because] ... [it is] contrary to Church Law to do so. The Congregation of the Holy Office prohibited the publication of the promises ... The following notice was given in the 'Acta Apostolicae Sedis' [Actions of the Apostolic See] volume XLVI (1954), #64 [from the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office (the congregation now headed by Cardinal Ratzinger)]:
'In some places, a certain little work has been disseminated called the Secret of Happiness: 15 Prayers Revealed by the Lord to St. Bridget in the Church of St. Paul at Rome, published at Nice and various other places in several languages. Since it is asserted in this pamphlet that God made to St. Bridget certain promises, whose supernatural origin in no way stands up [to scrutiny], let local ordinaries take care not to grant permission for publishing or reprinting pamphlets or other writings which contain these aforementioned promises.
'Given at Rome, from the offices of the Holy Office, 28 January 1954
'Marius Crovini, Notary of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office'

"Some recent publications of the promises have made various claims about past popes approving their publication, however, such claims are quite false. No authentic records of such approvals of the promises themselves exist."

Here is a list of the 21 alleged "promises of Jesus" that the Vatican judged to be of earthly origin and forbade to be published in conjunction with the prayers, perhaps because they seemed to promote superstition:

"1) I will deliver 15 souls of his lineage from Purgatory.
2) 15 souls of his lineage will be confirmed and preserved in grace.
3) 15 sinners of his lineage will be converted.
4) Whoever recites these Prayers will attain the first degree of perfection.
5) 15 days before his death I will give him My Precious Body in order that he may escape eternal starvation; I will give him My Precious Blood to drink lest he thirst eternally.
6) 15 days before his death he will feel a deep contrition for all his sins and will have a perfect knowledge of them.
7) I will place before him the sign of My Victorious Cross for his help and defense against the attacks of his enemies.
8) Before his death I shall come with My Dearest Beloved Mother.
9) I shall graciously receive his soul,and will lead it into eternal joys.
10) And having led it there I shall give him a special draught from the fountain of My Deity, something I will not for those who have not recited My Prayers.
11) Let it be known that whoever may have been living in a state of mortal sin for 30 years, but who will recite devoutly, or have the intention to recite these Prayers, the Lord will forgive him all his sins.
12) I shall protect him from strong temptations.
13) I shall preserve and guard his 5 senses.
14) I shall preserve him from a sudden death.
15) His soul will be delivered from eternal death.
16) He will obtain all he asks for from God and the Blessed Virgin.
17) If he has lived all his life doing his own will and he is to die the next day, his life will be prolonged.
18) Every time one recites these Prayers he gains 100 days indulgence.
19) He is assured of being joined to the supreme Choir of Angels.
20) Whoever teaches these Prayers to another, will have continuous joy and merit which will endure eternally.
21) There where these Prayers are being said or will be said in the future God is present with His grace."

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik -- July 07, 2002.

Hello, Chris B. Thanks for putting up that information on St. Bridget. ...

Hello, John. Man, you are something else when it comes to helping this forum with information. :-) I never read so much information on them before. The more I say them, the more intense they seem to get. Our Lord's passion was so brutal. They realy do make one sorry for their sins. I have also read that these prayers can serve as the Way of the Cross.

I did read what you posted to me last year in #3, on the internet as well, about Pope Pius IX approving these prayers. Does what you posted today mean that there is no way the Pope could have approved these prayers on May 31, 1862?

Thank you in advance Mr. Gecik, and May the Lord bless you and keep you healthy. :-)


-- David (David@excite.com), July 07, 2002.


Thank you, David-excite, as always, for your generous words.

You asked: "I did read what you posted to me last year in #3, on the internet as well, about Pope Pius IX approving these prayers. Does what you posted today mean that there is no way the Pope could have approved these prayers on May 31, 1862?"

I'm sorry that, in my last message, I did not clearly enough draw the distinction between (1) the prayers and (2) the promises.

I believe that the Church has approved of the fifteen prayers. No problem there. I have no reason to doubt what #3, above, says about Bl. Pius IX.
The 1954 "Warning" from the Vatican, however, pertains only to the promises, which came along later than the prayers and are thought to have been a human invention (no supernatural source).
The pope in 1862 approved the prayers only, but not the promises.

God bless you.

-- (jfgecik@jotmail.com), July 08, 2002.

Thanks, John

You are so dependable! :-) Just like clock work. I think this Catholic forum spoils me! Well, some people do. :P (To you sir)


-- David (David@excite.com), July 08, 2002.

Hi Gentlemen. I'm not sure if you all are still checking up on this board... it's been a while since the last post, however, I would like to add a wonderful resource on Saint Brigitta, if I may. The book is called "Revelations
Saint Birgitta of Sweden"
It is published by the Ecumenical Foundation of America, Los Angeles, California 1972

I have rekindled a passion for these prayers recently, and I rejoice greatly in seeing that there are others that I may speak to about the divinity of these prayers, and their profound effect on the soul. Anyway, I hope this helped and if not, I'm still pleased to leave the post.

Praise to You, Most merciful Christ! St. Birgitta, pray for us. and God Bless You All.

-- C.J. Wainscott (ramblescram@aol.com), November 06, 2002.

Thanks, CJ

Welcome to the Catholic forum. I love St. Bridget and I love those 15 prayers.

God bless you

NOTE-Edward do you like the 15 prayers too?

-- David (David@excite.com), November 11, 2002.

-- The Thread Restorer (Thread@Restoration.Com), May 27, 2004


For you, David.

-- The Thread Restorer (Thread@Restoration.Com), May 27, 2004.

Thanks Thread Restorer.

Thats a great memory you have to find and restore those deleted threads!

-- - (David@excite.com), May 28, 2004.

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