St. Frederick of the Netherlands – 18th July. Saint Frederick was the grandson of King Radbon of the Fresians and was educated by the clergy of the Church of Utrecht in the Netherlands.Frederick later became a priest known for his great piety and learning. He was placed in charge of the instruction of the catechumens and was eventually elected Bishop of Utrecht in 825. Immediately he began to reform his new diocese and sent many missionaries including St Olaf to the northern partsHollanddispel Paganism which thrived there replacing it with Christianity. Frederick reserved for himself the most difficult task of all that ofreforming the moral concepts of the island of Walcheren which belonged to the Netherlands. He worked unceasingly to eradicate the moral evils including incestuous marriages and gained many converts. Fredericktried to bring to repentance the Empress Judith but only ended up incurring her anger. On July 18th in after celebrating the Holy Mass he was stabbed to death by two assassins probably sent by Judith in the side chapel of the church. Moments before he died he recited the psalm ” I will praise the Lord in the land of the Living “.Frederick composed a prayer
St. Mary Magdalene – 22nd July. St. Mary Magdalene is one of the greatest saints of the Bible and a legendary example of Gods mercy and grace. Mary most probably came from Magdala a town on the west coast of Galilee and lived amongthe Gentiles. The Gospels record that Jesus cast 7 demons out of her and throughout Church history she has stood as a archetypal repentant sinner. When Jesus began his public ministry she was one of the women that supported and followed him . Mary was present when Christ rose from the dead, St Johns and St Marks Gospel specifically name her as the first person to see and recognise Jesus after His resurrection. Mary was also one of the women that stood at the foot of the Cross and who went to the tomb to anoint Christ’s body discovering the empty tombheard the angel proclaim Jesus resurrection.is mentioned at least a dozen times in the Gospels, tradition states that it was the very same Mary that wept ,washing Jesus feet with her tears and wiping them with her hair in the Gospel of St John. After Christ’s death she spent 14 years among the early Christian community, it is believed she was placed in a boat along with other early Christian saintsthat was aimlessly set adrift by Jewish authorities. The boat supposedly landed in France where she spent her latter years living as a hermit in a cave .Mary is the Patron saint of repentant sinners and the contemplative life.
St. Bridget of Sweden – 23rd July. Bridget was born in 1303 in to a wealthy family with royal connections in UpplandSweden. Her family were very devout and from a young age she experienced visions of Christ on the Cross talking to her. At the tender age of 13 she was married to Ulf Gudmarsson a son of a Lord and bore 8 children. Bridget was a wonderful mother and wife, remaining strong to her faith, she spent a lot of her time in prayer and helping the poor and sick .In 1341 after returninga pilgrimage from Santiago de Compostela in Spainhusband died and Bridget became a member of the Third Order of St Francis. Not long after she began to establish a new community with double monasteries with both men and women but with separate cloisters. This new foundation was called the” OrderThe Most Holy Saviour”known as the Bridgettines it was established at Vadstena by Lake vattern with the help of King Magnusbecame the centre of Swedish spirituality. Leaving Swedan inshe travelled to Rome to seek the approvalthe Pope forhercommunity,was not until 1370 that Pope Urban V on his return form Avignonthe rule of the new order. After leaving Sweden Bridget remained in Rome and Italy apart from the occasional pilgrimage including one to the Holy,continued to receiveof Christ´s Passion of which she always held a strong devotion and of His nativity. After her deathin 1373 her daughterCatherine continued her good work and the Bridgettine order amounted to 70 foundations throughout Europe.was canonized by Pope Boniface 1X in 1391. Bridget the patron saint of Swedan and a patron saint of Europe.