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Book 12 ”Four Prayers” Proem

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Book 12 ”Four Prayers”

      1. Proem

to the prayers written below, which were divinely revealed to the blessed Bridget of the kingdom of Sweden.

Since blessed Bridget always petitioned and asked God to pour into her some acceptable manner of praying, it happened one day, while she was praying, that in a wonderful manner she was lifted up in spirit by an elevation of mind. And then were poured into her from God certain most beautiful prayers concerning the life and passion and praise of Christ and concerning the life, compassion, and praise of the most Blessed Virgin Mary.
Afterward she so kept them in memory that every day she would read them devoutly. Wherefore the Blessed Virgin Mary, on a later occasion appearing to her at prayer, said: ”I merited for you those prayers. Therefore, when you read them devoutly, you shall be visited with the consolation of my Son.”

In this prayer revealed by God to blessed Bridget, the glorious Virgin Mary is devoutly and beautifully praised for her holy conception and infancy, for all her virtuous acts and labors, for the great sorrows of her whole life, for her most holy death and assumption, etc.

      1. Prayer 1

Blessed and revered may you be, my Lady, O Virgin Mary, most holy Mother of God. You are, in truth, his best creation; and no one has ever loved him so intimately as you, O glorious Lady. Glory be to you, my Lady, O Virgin Mary, Mother of God. That same angel by whom Christ was announced to you announced you yourself to your own father and mother; and of their honest wedlock you were conceived and begotten.

Blessed may you be, my Lady, O Virgin Mary. In your most holy infancy, immediately after your weaning, you were borne by your parents to the temple of God and were, with other virgins, entrusted to the keeping of the devout high priest.
Praise be to you, my Lady, O Virgin Mary. When you reached that age at which you understood that God was your Creator, you forthwith began to love him intimately above all things. Then too you most discreetly ordered your time, both day and night, by means of various offices and exercises in honor of God. Your sleep, too, and the food for your glorious body were so temperately regulated by you that you were always fit for God's service.
Infinite glory be to you, my Lady, O Virgin Mary, who humbly vowed your virginity to God himself and therefore had no concern about who would betroth you, for you knew that he to whom you had first given your faith was more mighty and more good than all others combined.
Blessed may you be, my Lady, O Virgin Mary. You were alone and ablaze with ardent love for God and - all your mind and all the strength of your powers being lifted up - you were, with ardor and diligence, contemplating the most high God to whom you had offered your virginity, when the angel was sent to you from God and, in greeting you, announced to you God's will. To him you replied most humbly, professing yourself God's handmaid; and then and there the Holy Spirit wonderfully filled you with all power and virtue. To you, God the Father sent his coeternal and coequal Son, who came into you then and, of your flesh and blood, took for himself a human body. Thus, at that blessed hour, the Son of God became, in you, your son, alive in his every limb and without loss of his divine majesty.
Blessed may you be, my Lady, O Virgin Mary. Of your own blessed body, the body of Christ had now been created; and in your womb, you felt his body ever growing and moving even to the time of his glorious nativity. Before anyone else, you yourself touched him with your holy hands; you wrapped him in cloths; and, in accord with the prophet's oracle, you laid him in a manger. With exultant joy, in motherly fashion, you used the most sacred milk of your breasts to nurture him.
Glory be to you, O my Lady, O Virgin Mary. While still dwelling in a contemptible house, i.e., the stable, you saw mighty kings coming to your Son from afar and humbly offering to him, with the greatest reverence, their royal guest-gifts. Afterward, with your own precious hands, you presented him in the temple; and, in your blessed heart, you diligently preserved all that you heard from him or saw during his infancy.
Blessed may you be, my Lady, O Virgin Mary. With your most holy offspring, you fled into Egypt; and afterward, in joy, you bore him back to Nazareth. During his physical growth, you saw him, your Son, humble and obedient to yourself and to Joseph. Blessed may you be, O Lady Virgin Mary. You saw your Son preaching, doing miracles, and choosing the apostles, who, being enlightened by his examples, his miracles, and his teachings, became witnesses of truth that your Jesus is also truly the Son of God: publishing to all nations that it was he who, through himself, had fulfilled the writings of the prophets when on behalf of the human race he had patiently endured a most hard death.
Blessed may you be, my Lady, O Virgin Mary, who knew beforehand that your Son must be made captive. Later your blessed eyes with sorrow saw him bound and scourged and crowned with thorns and fixed naked to the cross with nails. You saw many despising him and calling him a traitor.
Honor be to you, my Lady, O Virgin Mary. In sorrow, you gazed at your Son as he spoke to you from the cross; and with your blessed ears, you dolefully heard him, in the agony of death, crying to the Father and commending his own soul into his hands.
Praise be to you, my Lady, O Virgin Mary. With bitter sorrow, you saw your Son hanging on the cross: from the top of his head to the soles of his feet, all black and blue and marked with the red of his own blood, and so cruelly dead. You also gazed at the bitter sight of the holes - in his feet, in his hands, and even in his glorious side. You gazed at his skin, all lacerated without any mercy.
Blessed may you be, my Lady, O Virgin Mary. With tears in your eyes, you saw your Son taken down, wrapped in cloths, buried in a monument, and there guarded by soldiers.

Blessed may you be, my Lady, O Virgin Mary. To the grave intensification of your heart's deep sorrow, you parted from the sepulchre of your Son and, all full of grief, were brought by his friends to the house of John. But there, at once, you felt a relief of your great sorrow because you most surely foreknew that your Son would quickly rise.

Rejoice, my most worthy Lady, O Virgin Mary, for in the same instant that your Son arose from death he willed to make this same fact known to you, his most Blessed Mother. Then and there he appeared to you by himself, and later he showed to other persons that he was the one who had been raised from death after having endured death in his own living body.
Rejoice therefore, my most worthy Lady, O Virgin Mary. When death had been conquered and death's instigator had been overthrown, and heaven's entry had been opened wide through your Son, you saw him rising and triumphant with the crown of victory. And on the fortieth day after his resurrection, you saw him, in the sight of many, ascend with honor to his kingdom in heaven as himself a king accompanied by angels.
Exult, my most worthy Lady, O Virgin Mary. You merited to see how, after his ascension, your Son suddenly transmitted to his apostles and disciples the Holy Spirit with which he had previously filled you to the full. By increasing the fervor of their charity and the rightness of their Catholic belief, he wonderfully enlightened their hearts.
Rejoice still more, my Lady, O Virgin Mary; and at your joy, let all the world rejoice. For many years after his ascension your Son permitted you to remain in this world for the consolation of his friends and for the strengthening of the faith, for the relief of the poor and for the sound counseling of the apostles. Then, through your prudent words, your seemly behavior, and your virtuous deeds, your Son converted countless Jews and infidel pagans to the Catholic faith; and by wondrously illuminating them, he enlightened them to confess that you are a virgin-mother and that he, your Son, is God with a true human nature.
Blessed may you be, my Lady, O Virgin Mary. In your ardent charity and maternal love, you unceasingly desired at every moment to come to your so well-loved Son now sitting in heaven. While dwelling in this world and sighing after the things of heaven, you humbly conformed to the will of God; wherefore, by the dictates of divine justice, you ineffably increased your eternal glory. To you, O my Lady, O Virgin Mary, be eternal honor and glory. When it pleased God to rescue you from the exile of this world and to honor your soul in his kingdom forever, he then deigned to announce this to you through his angel; and he willed that your venerable body, when dead, be entombed by his apostles in a sepulchre with all reverence.
Be glad, my Lady, O Virgin Mary. For in that most light death of yours, your soul was embraced by the power of God; and he, as a watchful father, protected it from all adversity. Then it was that God the Father subjected to your power all things created. With honor, God the Son placed you, his most worthy Mother, beside himself on a most lofty seat. And the Holy Spirit, in bringing you to his glorious kingdom as a virgin betrothed to himself, did wonderfully exalt you.
Rejoice eternally, my Lady, O Virgin Mary. For some days after your death, your body lay entombed in its sepulchre until, with honor and through the power of God, it stood linked anew to your soul. Exult to the full, O Mother of God, O glorious Lady, O Virgin Mary. You merited to see your body revived after your death and assumed with your soul into heaven amidst honor from the angels. You acknowledged that your glorious Son was God with a human nature; and with exultant joy, you saw that he is the most just judge of all and the rewarder of good works.
Rejoice again, my Lady, O Virgin Mary. For your body's most holy flesh knows that it now exists in heaven as both virgin and mother. It sees itself in no way stained by any mortal or venial crime. No, it knows that it did all the works of virtue with such charity that God, in justice, had to revere it with highest honor. Your flesh then understood that the more ardently that anyone loves God in this world, the nearer to himself will God place that person in heaven. For it was manifestly clear to the whole court of heaven that no angel and no human loved God with such charity as you did; and therefore it was right and just that with honor God himself placed you, body and soul, on the highest seat of glory.
Blessed may you be, O my Lady, O Virgin Mary. Every faithful creature praises the Holy Trinity for you because you are the Trinity's most worthy creature. For wretched souls you obtain prompt pardon, and for all sinners you stand forth as a most faithful advocate and proxy. Praised therefore be God, the most high Emperor and Lord, who created you for such great honor that you yourself became both Empress and Lady everlastingly in the kingdom of heaven, forever to reign with him unto ages of ages. Amen.

This prayer was revealed by God to blessed Bridget. In it, by means of a painstakingly detailed narrative, Christ is beautifully and devoutly praised for his glorious incarnation; for all the actions, labors, and sorrows of his life and of his holy death; for his ascension into heaven; for the sending of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples; etc.

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