It was founded by St Bridget of Sweden, following revelations which she was held to have received. Land for the mother house at Vadstena was granted in 1346 and the order approved in a bull of 1370. Its members were organized in double monasteries, with priests and lay brothers acting as chaplains and assistants to a larger number of nuns. Though segregated, they shared a church. The male branch died out in 1842; the female members still maintain a few houses.