St. Bridget of Sweden

Praise be to you, my God, said the Saint, for all things that have been created; You are honored for all your virtues, and everyone pays you homage for your love. I, an unworthy and sinful creature since my youth, thank you, my God, because to none of those who sin, you deny grace if they ask for it, but you pity and forgive all of them. Oh sweet God! It is admirable what you do with me, that when it pleases you, you numb my body with a spiritual lethargy, and awaken my soul so that it can see, hear and feel spiritual things.

Oh my God! How sweet are your words to my soul, which receives them as a very tasty delicacy! They enter my heart with joy, and when I hear them, I am satisfied and hungry: satisfied, because nothing weakens me but your words; and hungry, because I want to hear them all the more. Give me help, then, blessed me my God, so that I may always do your will.

And Jesus Christ answered: “I am without beginning or end, and everything that exists has been created by my power. Everything is arranged by my wisdom, and everything is governed by my judgment. All my works are ordered by love, and thus, nothing is impossible for me. But the heart that neither loves nor fears me is too hard, since I am the Governor and Judge of all, and man rather does the will of the devil, who is a traitor and his executioner, who spreads his poison throughout the earth, with him the souls cannot live and are submerged in the abysses of hell.”

“This poison is sin, which tastes sweet to them, although it is bitter to the soul, and by the hand of the devil it is spread every day over many. But who has heard such a strange thing, as that men are offered life and choose death? However, I, God of all, am patient, I pity his misery and I do as that king, who sent wine with his servants, telling them: Give it to many, because it is healthy; He gives health to the sick, joy to the sad, and a manly heart to the healthy. But the wine is sent only in a convenient glass. In the same way my words, which are compared to wine, I send them to my servants through you, whose heart is like a glass, which I want to fill and exhaust as I please. My Holy Spirit will teach you where to go and what to speak. Therefore, say with courage and joy what I command, because no one will prevail against me.”

Then the Saint said: “O King of all glory, inspirer of all wisdom and giver of all virtues! why do you choose me for such a work, that I have consumed my life in sins? I am ignorant as a donkey, naked of virtues, in everything I have offended You and I have not corrected anything.”

And the Spirit answered: “Who would be amazed, if any gentleman, with the coins or bars of silver that they gave him, ordered to make crowns, rings or glasses for his use? Thus, it is not to be admired either if I receive the hearts of my friends who present themselves to me, and do my will in them; and since one has more understanding and another less, I make use of the conscience of each one, according to what suits my honor, because the heart of the just is my coin. Therefore, remain firm and ready to my will.”

Immediately the Virgin said to the Saint: “What do the proud women of your kingdom say? And the Saint replied: I am one of them, and so I am ashamed to speak in your presence.”

And the Virgin said: “Although I know all this better than you, nevertheless, I want to hear you say it. The Saint replied: When true humility was preached to us, we used to say that our elders left us vast possessions and great customs, so why should we not imitate them? Our mother also took her place among the leading ladies, she dressed magnificently, had many servants and raised us sumptuously. Why should I not leave to my daughters what I have learned, which is to behave magnificently, live with bodily joy and die also with the great pomp and grandeur of the world?”

Then the Mother of God said: “Every woman who puts these ideas into practice goes to hell by the most straight path, and this is the severe answer that must be given to them. Of what use will such ideas be to them, when the Creator of all things consented that his body should always be on earth with the greatest humility, from his birth until his death, and the dress of pride never covered him? These women do not consider the face of my Son while he lived, nor how he died on the cross covered in blood and pale with torments, nor do they care about the insults and opprobrium that He himself heard, nor about the shameful death that he wanted to choose .”

“Nor do they remember the place where my Son exhaled his last breath, because he was punished right there, where the thieves and robbers received their punishment, and I, who am his Mother was also present, I who among all creatures am the one he loves most, and in me resides all humility. Therefore those who conduct themselves with such pomp and arrogance, and give others occasion to imitate them, are like hyssop, which, if dipped in fiery liquor, burns them all and stains those it sprinkles. In the same way, the arrogant give an example of arrogance and pride, and with this bad example they burn souls to a great extent.”

“I want, then, to do like the good mother, who to intimidate her children shows them the rod, which her servants also see. And when her children see her, they fear offending her mother, and they thank her for her, because she threatened them without punishing them. But the servants fear being flogged if they commit a crime; and so, because of this fear of the mother, the children do many more good things than before, and the servants do fewer bad things. And since I am the Mother of mercy, I want to show you what the payment for sin is. In that way the friends of God become more fervent in the love of the Lord, and sinners, knowing their danger, flee from sin at least for fear, and in this way I pity the good and the bad: the good so that they may attain a greater crown in heaven; and the bad ones, so that they incur less punishment; for there is no sinner, no matter how great, whom I am not willing to help and my Son to give him his grace, if he asks for mercy with God’s love.”

Three Women

Following that, three women appeared: mother, daughter and granddaughter. “The mother and granddaughter were found dead, but the daughter was found alive. The deceased mother came out as if dragging from the mud of a gloomy lake; her heart had been ripped out and her lips cut, her chin trembled, and her very white and long teeth clashed against each other, her nose was corroded and her eyes bulged, two nerves hung down to her cheeks; her forehead sunken from her and instead of it a huge and gloomy abyss; her skull was missing from her head and her brain boiled like molten lead and spilled something like boiling fish; her neck, like the wood that is worked on her lathe, was surrounded by a very sharp iron that destroyed it inconsolably; her chest was open and full of worms of all sizes circling one on top of the other; her arms were like handles of stone, and her hands like long, knobby clubs; the vertebrae in her back were all loose and going up and down nonstop; a long and great snake came dragging from the lower part to the upper part of the stomach, and uniting its head and tail like an arc, continuously encircling the viscera like a wheel; His legs were like two canes covered with extremely sharp spikes, and his feet were like those of a toad.”

Then this deceased mother told her daughter who was still alive: “Hey you, lizard and poisonous daughter. Woe to me, because I was your mother! I was the one who put you in the nest of pride, where you grew up well sheltered until you reached youth, and you liked it so much that you have invested your whole life in it. I tell you, therefore, that as many times you turn your eyes with the looks of arrogance that I taught you, as many other times you pour into my eyes a boiling poison with intolerable ardor; whenever you say the proud words that you learned from me, I take a very bitter drink; all the times that your ears are filled with the wind of pride moved by the storms of arrogance, such as hearing your body praised and wishing for the honors of the world, all of which you learned from me, so many other times it comes to my ears a terrible sound with impetuous and scorching wind.”

“Woe to me, poor and wretched! poor, because I don’t have or feel anything good; and miserable, because I abound in all evils. But you, poisonous daughter, are like the tail of the cow that walks through muddy places, and whenever it wags its tail, it stains and sprays the bystanders: so you are like the cow, because you do not have divine wisdom, and you walk according to the works and movements of your body. Therefore, whenever you do what I used to do, which are the sins that I taught you, my sorrow is renewed immediately and becomes more cruel. And why are you proud of your lineage, viper daughter? Does it benefit you with honor and splendor that the filth of my entrails was your resting place? You came out of my impure womb, and the filth of my blood was your clothing at birth; and now my belly, in which you were, is all corroded by worms.”

“But why do I complain about you, when with more reason I should complain about myself? There are three things that most afflict my heart. First, that being created by God for the joys of heaven, I abused my conscience and opened the way for me to the torments of hell. Second, that God created me as beautiful as an angel, and I have become ugly in terms, that I look more like the devil than the angel; and third, that the time I had of life, I used it very badly, because I went after the transitory, which is the delight of sin, for which I now feel an infinite evil, which is the pain of hell.”

“And turning immediately to the Saint, she tells her: You who are looking at me, do not see me except by bodily comparisons; for if you saw me in the form in which I am, you would die of terror, because all my members are devils: and so it is true what the Scripture says, that as the righteous are members of God, so sinners are members of the devil. In this way I am experiencing now that the demons are fixed in my soul, because the will of my heart prepared me for such ugliness. But hey even more. It seems to you that my feet are those of a toad, which is because I was firm in sin, and that is why now the demons are firm in me, and they bite me without ever getting enough.”

“My legs are like prickly sticks, because I had my will according to my pleasure and carnal delight. The vertebrae of the back are loose and moving against each other, because the joy of my spirit sometimes went up because of the consolation of the world, and other times it went down with excessive sadness and anger because of the contradictions of the world. And as the back moves as the head does, so I should have been stable and mobile according to the will of God; but for not having done it, I suffer exactly what you see.”

“A snake comes crawling from the lower part of the stomach to the upper part, and put in the form of an arch, it turns like a wheel; which is because my pleasure and delight was inordinate, and my will wanted to possess everything, and spend it in many ways and without discretion, and for this reason the serpent now circles within me and bites me in an inconsolable and merciless way. My chest is open and gnawed by worms, which manifests the true justice of God, because I loved putrid things more than God, and the love of my heart was in transitory things; and as smaller worms grow larger ones, so my soul is full of putrid demons.”

“My arms look like mangoes, because my desire had two arms; for I wished long life and to live a long time in sin. I also wished and longed for God’s judgment to be milder than what the Scripture says, although my conscience told me that my life was short and God’s judgment intolerable. But my desire to sin suggested to me that my life was long, and the judgment of God very easy, and with such ideas my conscience was upset, and in this way my will and my reason followed pleasure and delight; and for this very reason the devil now moves in my soul against my will, and my conscience understands and knows that God’s judgment is just. My hands are like two long clubs, because the precepts of God were not pleasing to me; and so my hands weigh me down, without being of any use to me.”

“My neck is spinning like a piece of wood that is turned with a sharp iron, because the words of God were not pleasant to enter into the charity of my heart, but very bitter, because they were opposed to the delight and pleasure of my heart, and for that is now put against my throat a sharp iron. My lips are chapped, because I was quick to express arrogant and cheeky expressions, but indolent and lazy to speak the words of God. The chin is trembling and the teeth clashing against each other, because I had the will to give sustenance to my body to appear beautiful, inviting, healthy and strong for all the pleasures of the body, and for this reason my chin trembles inconsolably; and the teeth collide with each other, because the use and work of the teeth was useless for the benefit of the soul.”

“The nostrils are cut off, because as is usually done among you with those who commit crimes in such a case to their greatest shame, so in me my modesty has been cauterized forever. The eyes hang from two nerves that reach the cheeks; and this is fair, because as the eyes rejoiced at the beauty of the cheeks to display pride, so now, with much crying they have jumped and with shame they hang down to the cheeks. With justice, too, the forehead is submerged and in its place there is excessive darkness, because I surrounded my forehead with the veil of pride, and I wanted to boast and appear beautiful, and for this reason my forehead is now dark and deformed.”

“The brain boils, as is quite right, and pours out lead and pitch, because as lead is mobile and flexible at the will of its user, so my conscience, which resided in my brain, moved according to the will of my heart, although I understood well what I had to do. But the Passion of the Son of God, was never fixed in my heart, but poured out, in the manner of what is learned and forgotten. And as for the blood that ran from the body of the Son of God, I cared for it no more than if it had been a fish, and as one flees from the fish, I fled from the words of love of God, so that they would not bother me or They will separate me from the delights of the body. Because of men, however, I sometimes heard the divine words, but they entered me through one ear and came out through the other; and for this my brain pours out fiery fish with vehement boiling.”

“My ears are covered with hard stones, because proud words entered them gladly, and gently descended to the heart, because the love of God was excluded from it; and because for the world and for pride I did what I could, for this reason my ears are shut to happy words.”

“And if you ask me if I did some meritorious deeds, I’ll tell you what I did like the contrast that cuts the coin and returns it to its owner. If I fasted and gave alms and did other things, I did them only out of sheer fear of hell and to escape bodily misfortunes; but since there was no love of God in any of my works and I did them in his disgrace, those things did not help me to reach heaven, although they did not go unrewarded. If you ask me, furthermore, what is my will inside when I have so much ugliness on the outside, I will tell you that my will is like that of the murderer and that of the matricide, who willingly would kill his progenitor; and so I also wish the worst evil to God my Creator, who was excellent and most merciful to me.”

The granddaughter

The deceased granddaughter of the grandmother who was in hell speaks immediately, with her own mother who was still alive, and tells her: “Hey, my mother and rather than mother a scorpion. Woe to me, because you cheated on me! You showed me a happy countenance and instead you seriously wounded me in the heart. With your own lips you gave me three pieces of advice, with your works I learned, and with your steps you showed me three paths. The first advice was to love carnally, to obtain carnal friendship: the second was to spend lavishly for the honor of the world temporal goods, and the third, to have rest for the pleasure of the body. But such advice has been very detrimental to me, because I loved carnally, I obtained shame and spiritual envy; because I prodigally spent temporal goods, I was deprived of the gifts of God’s grace in life, and I have achieved disgrace after death; and because during my life I delighted in the rest of my body, at the hour of death a restlessness without consolation began for my soul.”

“Three things I also learned from you, and they were: do some good deeds, without leaving the sin that delighted me; for which I experience so much anguish and tribulation, as one who mixes honey with poison and presents it to a judge, and this one, irritated, spills it on the one who offers it to him. You also taught me to cover my eyes with a cloth, to wear sandals on my feet, precious rings on my hands and my neck completely naked on the outside. The canvas that obscured my eyes meant the beauty of my body, which obscured my spiritual eyes in such a way that I did not attend to the beauty of my soul.”

“The sandals that defended the feet below and not above, signify the holy faith of the Church that I faithfully kept, although without accompanying it with any profitable work; and as sandals help the feet, so my conscience, remaining in faith, helped my soul; but since they did not accompany good deeds, my conscience was as if naked. The precious rings on the hands signify the vain hope I had; because the works of mine understood by the hands, I judged them counting on a powerful and ample mercy of God, which is signified in the rings; and because when I touched the justice of God with my hand, I did not feel it or attend to it, therefore I was very daring to sin.”

“As death approached, the canvas fell from my eyes onto the earth, that is, onto my body, and then the soul saw itself and knew that it was naked, because few of my works were good and my sins were many, and of shame. I could not be in the palace of the eternal King, because I was dressed ignominiously, and then they dragged me away by demons to a rigorous punishment, where I was the object of mockery and affront.”

“The third thing I learned from you, cruel mother, was to dress the servant in the Lord’s garments, and placed in the Lord’s chair, honor him as if he were the Lord, and give the Lord the servant’s waste and everything despicable. This Lord is the love of God, and the servant is the will to sin. And so, then, in my heart where Divine love should have reigned, the servant was always placed, that is, the delight and pleasure of sin, which I clothed when I used for my pleasure all that was created and temporary, and only I gave God the spoils, the impure and the most despicable, and not out of love but out of fear. In this way my heart rejoiced with the success of the pleasure of my lightness, because the love of God and the good Lord was excluded from me, and I had welcomed the evil servant. These are, mother, the three things that I learned from your works.”

“Also with your steps you taught me three paths. The first was bright shine of evil, and as soon as I went through it, I was blinded by such unholy light: the second was short and slippery as ice, and I fell, so only walked a step in it: the third was very long, and as I began to walk along it, a rushing torrent came from behind me and carried me to a deep hole under a hill. In the first path, the progress of my pride is signified, which was very luminous, because the ostentation that is born of pride, shone so much in my eyes, that I did not think its end, and consequently, I was blind. In the second path, disobedience is signified; but the time of disobedience in this life is not long, because after death man is forced to obey.

“However, the road was long for me, because when I took a step, that is, a humble confidence, I immediately slipped, because I wanted the confessed sin to be forgiven; but after confession I did not want to stop sinning, and consequently, I was not constant in obedience, but relapsed into sins, like someone who slips in the snow; because my will was cold, and I did not want to separate myself from what delighted me. In this way, as soon as I took a step and confessed my sins, I immediately relapsed, because I wanted to repeat the sins I had confessed and which pleased me.”

“The third way was that I expected the impossible, that is, to be able to sin and not have a long sentence; to also be able to live a long time and not hasten the hour of death; and as soon as I began to walk this way, an impetuous torrent came after me, that is, death, which seizing me from one year to another, knocked down my feet with the pain of weakness. What were my feet, if not that when sickness approached, I could attend very little to the benefit of the body, and less to the health of the soul? I fell, then, into a deep hole, when my heart burst, which was conceited with pride and hardened in sin, and the soul fell into the deep cavern where sins are punished. This path was very long, because after concluding the carnal life, a long punishment immediately began. Woe to me, mother, and not good, because everything I happily learned from you, now I am paying with tears.”

The daughter

The same deceased daughter later said to Saint Bridget, who saw all this: “Hear you, who are looking at me: my head and face are inside and outside like thunder and scorching lightning; my neck and chest are in a hard vise fastened with long iron spikes; my feet are like long serpents; my belly is beaten with strong hammers, and my legs like the water that falls from the canals frozen. But I still have an inner pain more bitter than all these. Because the way a person would be who had all the vents of life obstructed, and all the veins full of wind, were compressed towards the heart, the one that because of the violence and power of the wind would burst; I am so miserably because of the wind of pride that I loved so much.”

“I find myself, however, on the path of mercy, because in my very serious illness I confessed the best I knew how, although out of fear; but when death approached, I began to consider the Passion of my God, that is, that it was much harder and more bitter than mine, the one that for my faults I deserved to suffer. With this consideration, I brought tears to my eyes and deplored that while God’s love for me was so great, mine for the Lord was so little.”

“Then I looked at God with the eyes of my conscience, and said: Lord, I believe that you are my God, have mercy on me, Son of the Virgin, by your most bitter Passion, that I would gladly amend my life now if I had time. And at that moment a little spark of God’s love lit up in my heart, for which the Passion of Jesus Christ seemed to me more bitter than my death, and I was like this, when my heart burst, and my soul ended up in the hands of demons to be presented in the judgment seat of God. And I ended up in the hands of the demons, because it was undignified that the most beautiful angels approached a soul of such ugliness. In the court of God the demons cried out against me, because my soul was condemned to hell, but the Judge replied: I see in your heart a spark of divine love, which should not be extinguished, but come to my presence, and so, I condemn this soul to purgatory, until purified, deserves to achieve forgiveness.”

“And if you ask me if I am a participant in all the good works that are done for me, I will respond to you with a comparison. In the same way that if you saw the two pans of a scale hanging, and in one there was lead that naturally pulled downwards, and in another something light that tended upwards. The more you load this last pan, the sooner the other would rise. In my case,  the higher I was in sinning, the lower I am in punishment. Consequently, everything that is done for me in honor of God, especially the prayers and good works done by just men and friends of God, and the help that is given with legitimately acquired goods and the good works done for the love of God. All of that makes me get closer to the Lord every day.”

Then the Virgin said to the Saint: “You are amazed, my daughter, that we speak together, I, who am the Queen of heaven, you who live in the world, that soul that is in purgatory and the other in hell; So I’m going to explain it to you. I never depart from heaven, because I never separate myself from the presence of God, nor does the soul that is in hell depart from its pains, nor does the other from purgatory before being purified, nor do you come to us before separation from bodily life. But by virtue of the spirit of God, let your soul rise with your intelligence to hear the words of God in heaven. Now you are allowed to know the various pains of hell and purgatory, to serve as a warning to the wicked, and as a consolation and benefit to the good. Have, however, understood, that your body and your soul remain united on earth, but the Holy Spirit who is in heaven, will give you intelligence to understand his will.”


Three women are here spoken of, of whom the third, who was still alive, entered a monastery, where she spent the rest of her life in exercises of great perfection.

Prophecies and Revelations of Saint Bridget
Book 6 – Chapter 38