Bridgettine Guest House Iver Health

The History

mother Bridgettine Guest House - Order of the most Holy Saviour of Saint BridgetThe Order of the Most Holy Saviour of Saint Bridget was founded on the 8th September 1911 and fully approved by the Holy See on the 7th July 1940. The communities of the Bridgettine Sisters, members of this Order, owe their existence to the prayer of a woman endowed with the gifts of nature and grace, who expressed herself in these words: “O Lord, o loving Light, guide me”.

The birth, the stability and the growth of this religious family are intimately linked with the Foundress, Blessed Elisabeth Hesselblad, author of the revival of the spiritual identity of the old Order, beatified by His Holiness Pope John II on the 9th April 2000.

Elisabeth Hesselblad was a Swedish Lutheran converted to the Catholic Faith. During the first decade of the 1900 she visited the Bridgettine monasteries, then in existence, urged by a burning desire to restore the old Order and revive the old Bridgettine charisma adapting it to the new times. She strongly felt that this was her mission in life. Living in a historical period of rebirth in the Church, especially as regards consecrated life, she had to make strenuous efforts and face really difficult moments. Her behaviour was one of great trust in God and in prayer: “I thank you, my Lord, because you have given me the ardent desire for research”.

Searching God’s will was the guiding principle in her life and of all her activity. Illumined by Grace, she brought to life a new Order, which has maintained, ever since its beginnings, the fidelity to the rich and firmly established Bridgettine tradition.

The Mother House of the Order is in Piazza Farnese, an old medieval house where Saint Bridget lived when she was in Rome. To this day, it is the heartbeat of all the activity and formation of the sisters. It was bought by Blessed Elisabeth with the tenacity typical of the saints! From the first group of sisters, who followed with a pioneer spirit the intuitions of their mother whom Cardinal Merry del Val called “the most extraordinary woman in Rome”, the Bridgettine sisters are today scattered in various parts of the world. They intensely live the values of consecrated life, through listening and meditating the Word of God, through contemplation and Adoration of the Eucharist and the solemn celebration of the Office and through an apostolic activity based on the charisma of Saint Bridget and Blessed Elisabeth.

Like a strength-giving idea, the old motto, “Amor meus crucifixus est” accompanies the day of the Bridgettine sister, that goes from the welcoming of guests to moments of study, prayer and work.