Friday, June 04, 2004

Blessed Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad

Today is the birthday of one of the lesser-known holy ones with United States connections, Blessed Mary Elizabeth Hesselblad. Born in Sweden, she emigrated to New York City as a teenager, studied nursing, then worked as a nurse in a Manhattan hospital and later in home health care. It was during this time that she came into the Catholic Church. After some wandering and some pilgrimaging, she received permission to revive the Brigittine Order and worked diligently at this in Rome and in Sweden in the 1920's and 30's, and established foundations in India in 1937. As superior of the Brigittine house in Rome, she gave refuge to Jewish and other persecuted people during the Nazi occupation of that city. She continued her work in revitalizing the Brigittine charism until her death in 1957.

a prayer of Blessed Mary Elizabeth:

Dear Lord, I do not ask to see the path. In darkness, in anguish and in fear, I will hang on tightly to your hand, and I will close my eyes, so that you know how much trust I place in you, Spouse of my soul.

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