Nicholas Hermansson

(c. 1326—1391)

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St Bridget of Sweden (c. 1303—1373)


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bishop of Linköping (Sweden). Born in Sweden, he studied at Paris and Orléans. On his return he became a canon of his diocese and tutor to the Swedish royal family. At the same time he became a devoted friend of the queen, St Bridget of Sweden. In 1361 he was promoted to be archdeacon of Linköping and bishop in 1374. Now he had to overcome considerable opposition from both the civil power and a reluctant clergy, to whom his reforms both of organization and of morality were unpopular. But he pressed on regardless and was ultimately accepted as an exemplary reforming bishop.

As a poet and musician, he devoted his talents to liturgical compositions. This was especially so after the return of the body of St Bridget to her convent at Vadstena, situated in his diocese. Already he had helped this unusual double monastery by writing its Constitutions, and he worked for Bridget's canonization, which was achieved in 1391. After his death in the same year there was an immediate cult for which Lives were written and cures described. An enquiry into his life and miracles began in 1417, and Pope Martin V confirmed the cult. The translation of the relics took place in 1515 and eight years later his Office was authorized. But when the Reformation came, his cult ceased. Feast: 2 May.

A. Vauchez in Bibl. SS., ix. 970–2; Life ed. by H. Schuck in Tva svenska biografier fran medeltiden (1895), also by T. Lunden (1963) (with canonization process documents).

Subjects: Christianity.

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