From Fr Martin Queenan SIR – St Brigid / Briget / Bridget / Brigida / Birgitta has been lost in translation. Godwin Penrhyn-Lowe (Letter, September 18) asserts : “The Brigidines were founded by St Brigid of Sweden, whereas the Brigettines were founded by St Briget of Ireland.” It is the other way around – but not quite.
The order founded by St Brigid / Bridget of Kildare did not survive the dissolution of the monasteries and convents in Ireland. The Brigidine Congregation was founded in 1807 by Bishop Daniel Delany of Kildare and Leighlin with St Brigid as patroness.
The letter writer is confused by the Italian translation of Birgitta / Brigid / Bridget. The Sisters at Piazza Farnese in Rome live in the Casa di Santa Brigida and are known in Italian as Suore Brigidine, but in English as Bridgettines or Brigittines and formally as the Order of the Most Holy Saviour of St Bridget (of Sweden).
The Brigittine order was founded in 1346 by St Birgitta, or Bridget, of Sweden at Vadstena in the Diocese of Linköping. The order was re-founded on the September 8 1911 by Blessed Elisabeth Hesselblad.
Yours faithfully, MARTIN QUEENAN Our Lady of Lourdes, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset