1391 A Swedish account

The text below is an account of the canonization of Brigit as recalled in her homeland, at the monastery of Vadstena, the first to set up and follow the Brigitine rule. A number of monks from Vadstena were present at Rome during the time of the canonization as is mentioned elsewhere in this section.

 

De cuius canonizacionis processu libet breviter aliqua scribere:

Post enim factam commissionem in negocio canonizacionis beate Byrgitte et per tres cardinales habita probacione vite eius, et fame sufficienti dominus papa constituit diem canonizacionis precipiens, ut hora vesporum in die precedente diem canonizacionis pulsarentur omnes campane per totam Romam.  Et  sic factum est eciam in nocte et die canonizacionis.

Item ipso die canonizacionis summo mane  convenerunt omnes cardinales cum patriarchis et ecclesiarum prelatis in curia pape. Et omnes induti albis cum domino papa processionaliter cum magna sollempnitate intrant magnam capellam in palacio pape, que fuit ornata cum candelis et faculis ac per totum cum vestibus circumdata, pavimento cum foliis arborum et herbis odoriferis strato.

Ubi posita in medio ante altare cathedra bene apta pro summa pontifice. In qua papa sedens fecit sermonem coram omnibus, cuius thema erat “Viduam eius  benedicens benedicam etc,” narrans eciam ea, que requiruntur ad tam arduum negocium, scilicet canonizacionis et probans, quod leggitime processum est in hoc sancto negocio a principio usque in finem, dicens non posse nec  licitum esse negare iusticiam in tam claro et evidenti facto, quia excellens vita beate Byrgitte et turba miraculorum, que facta sunt meritis eius, et fama populi testimonium dabant ipsius sanctitati.

Sermone  tandem completo ante conclusionem tamen ammonebat omnes ad invocandum Spiritum sanctum et ipsam Virginem gloriosam, ne Deus permitteret errare ecclesiam in hoc facto. Et cantores inceperunt antiphonam Veni Sancte spiritus, qua finita cum versiculo de sancto Spiritu et de beata Byrgitta, Ora pro nobis etc. dominus papa dixit “Oremus. Deus qui corda fidelium” cum collecta de sancta Byrgitta "Domine Iesu Christe, qui beate Byrgitta tantam etc", pronumcians eam iam de facto canonizatam et sanctam et in sanctorum cathalogo asscriptam; de qua festam cum officio proprio fiat in ecclesia per totum orbem, sicut de aliis sanctis. Et cantor incepit Te Deum laudamus; et papa et omnes in processione iverunt per palacium.

 

Of whose canonization process it pleases us to write something briefly: After the commission had been appointed, three cardinals made a satisfactory inspection of her life and reputation the Lord Pope set the day for the canonization and ordered that at the hour of vespers, the day before the canonization, the bells should be rung right across Rome. And so it happened during the night and into the day of her canonization. Likewise on the day of the canonization at first light all the cardinals met with the patriarchs and Church prelates at the papal court. And all dressed in white, with the Lord Pope they processed with great solemnity into the great chapel of the papal palace which was decorated with candles and little torches and completely decked in cloth while the floor was strewn with leaves and sweet smelling herbs.

In the middle in front of the alter was the cathedra befitting the highest pontiff. The pope sat in this an gave a sermon to all present, whose theme was “Blessed is the munificent widow”. And he narrated what was required by such a demanding occasion, that is canonization, and showing that all had been lawful in this holy business from beginning to the end, saying it was not possible nor lawful to deny justice in such a clear and obvious case, the excellence of the life of St Brigit and her many miracles which happened through her merit and reputation among the people, which bore testament to her sanctity.

At last the sermon finished but before he finished he admonished all to call upon the Holy Spirit and the glorious Virgin so that God might not allow his Church to err in this matter. And the choir began the antiphon “Veni Sancte Spiritus” which finished with a verse about  the Holy Spirit and St Brigit “Ora pro nobis etc” and the Lord Pope said “Let us prey to God with faithful hearts” then (read) the collect for St Brigit "Domine Iesu Christe, qui beate Byrgitta tantam etc" declaring that her canonization to be done and as a saint she should be inscribed in the catalogue of saints; and her feast with the proper office should be held by the Church in the whole world just as is done for other saints. And the cantor began “you Lord we praise” and the Pope and all the others processed through the palace.

 

Extract taken from Diarum Vadstenense