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15 Prayers of Saint Bridget and their promises
Question from Elizabeth on 3/19/2004:

I was wondering if you could please shed some light on whether or not the fifteen promises supposedly given to Saint Bridget of Sweden by Jesus (for praying the 15 prayers in honor of His Passion) are authentic. Here is something I read on the Internet:

The Congregation of the Holy Office prohibited the publication of the promises since the promises have no merit to them. The following notice was given in the AAS XLVI (1954), 64:

Acts of the Holy See Congregation of the Holy Office Warning

In some places, a certain little work has been disseminated called the "Secret of Happiness: 15 Prayers Revealed by the Lord to St. Bridget in the Church of St. Paul at Rome", published at Nice and various other places in several languages.

Since it is asserted in this pamphlet that God made to St. Bridget certain promises, whose supernatural origin in no way stands up, let local ordinaries take care not to grant permission for publishing or reprinting pamphlets or other writings which contain these aforementioned promises.

Given at Rome, from the offices of the Holy Office, 28 , January 1954 Marius Crovini, Notary of the Supreme Holy, Congregation of the Holy Office

Perhaps you are familiar with the famous "Pieta" prayer book, which I know many Catholics (including myself) use and find very beautiful. The prayers and promises are published there, with no warning that the Church has said the promises are not authentic. In fact, it says that the prayers are published there "under sanction of the Decree of November 18, 1966, published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Vol. 58, No. 16 of December 29, 1966." What I quoted from the Internet says that no popes ever authorized the publication of the prayers, but in the Pieta Pope Pius IX is quoted as saying, "The approbation of such revelations implies nothing more than, after mature examination, it is permissible to publish them for the unit of the faithful..." (Les Petits Bollandistes, tome XII)

I apologize that this is a rather lengthy question, but I like these prayers very much, and it disturbs me to think that deception could lie around them:

At the very least, they are beautiful prayers. Is it ok to pray them? I understand that believing in private revelations such as those of St. Bridget is optional, as is accepting any promises made to her, but if the promises are condemned, why are they still in publication?

Thanks so much for your response.

Answer by David Gregson on 4/19/2004:

The warning published by the Holy Office (Warning Concerning the "Promises of St. Bridget") stated only that the promises were uncertain, as to their supernatural origin. It says nothing against the prayers, which have been in regular use since the Middle Ages. As to why the promises are still published along with the prayers, either Rome is being ignored, or Rome is thought to have changed its mind. Problematic for that theory is the fact that the Popes cited, Pius IX and Benedict XV, died before the Holy Office gave its warning, and there is no record of statements attributed to them. I don't know what the "Decree of November 18, 1966, published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Vol. 58, No. 16 of December 29, 1966" might be. If it had any bearing, it ought to have been quoted.

In short, the promises are questionable, but there is no reason why the prayers of St. Bridget shouldn't be used, as they have been for many centuries.


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