Saint Bridget of Sweden (1303 – 1373) was one of the most important and famous mystics of the Middle Ages, causing her to be named one of the patron saints not only of Sweden, but of all Europe.
Among the many visions she records in her Revelations is this remarkable description of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her glory as the Queen of Heaven.
In this vision St. Bridget sees Our Lady possessing seven lilies and seven precious stones in her heavenly crown. Each one symbolizes a different quality or characteristic. Seven, of course, is the biblical number symbolizing perfection. Mary is the crown of God’s creation!
“The bride saint [St. Bridget] saw the Mother of God, Queen of the Heavens, wearing a priceless crown. Her beautiful shiny hair fell around her shoulders. The Virgin was wearing a brilliant golden tunic and a veil as blue as the sky; Bridget fell into a contemplative ecstasy, as if an internal life alienated her from herself.
All of a sudden Saint John the Baptist appeared and said to her: ‘Listen closely: I am about to reveal the meaning of all of this to you.
The crown means that the Blessed Virgin is the Queen and Lady and Mother of the King of angels.
Her hair signifies that she is the purist of virgins and absolutely perfect.
Her sky blue veil denotes that all worldly things are dead to her.
Her golden tunic symbolizes that she has proved ardent love and charity, both inwardly and outwardly.
Her Son placed seven lilies in her crown, the first is her humility, the second is her fear; the third is her obedience; the fourth her patience; the fifth her serenity; the sixth her sweetness, because she is sweet and gives to all who invoke her when asking for something; the seventh is mercy when in need: because if anyone invokes her she will give them whatever they need.
The Son of God has placed among these seven lilies seven precious stones:
the first is her eminent virtue, because there are no spirits that have virtue of a higher degree than that of the Blessed Virgin;
the second is her perfect purity because the Queen of Heaven has been so pure that not even the minimal stain of sin has been on her, and no demon has ever managed to find any impurity in her. She is truly the most pure for it was opportune for the King of glory to be placed solely in the purest vessel chosen above all the angels and all mankind.
The third precious stone is her beauty, because the saints praise God for the beauty of His mother and this completes the joy of all the angels and saints.
The fourth precious stone on the crown represents the wisdom of the Virgin Mother because being adorned with splendor and beauty she is filled to the brim and endowed with every wisdom of God.
The fifth precious stone is her strength because through God she is strong enough to destroy and dispose of everything that has been created.
The sixth stone is her sparkle and light, because she illuminates the angels whose eyes are clearer than light and the demons heel to her beauty and do not dare look at her splendor.
The seventh stone is the fullness of every delight, of all spiritual sweetness, present within her with such richness that there is no joy that does not grow from hers, nor any delight that is not completed by the vision of her beauty.’”
The last line – Mary’s seventh stone – is an incredible thought to ponder. St. Bridget declares that there is no true joy of ours that does not have its source in Mary! And our delight will find its perfection in beholding her beauty in heaven.
Mary, Queen of Heaven, pray for us!
Continue reading: Our Beautiful Queen: Lessons on the Queenship of Mary