Today is the feast day of St. Bridget of Sweden who is a patron of Europe. She was queen of Sweden in the 14th century and became a mystic. She went on pilgimage to the Holy Land, quite an undertaking in those days, before dying in Rome. The convent she founded is next door to the English College where I studied in Rome, on the Piazza Farnese. It is a centre for ecumenical relations, and still greets many Scandinavian visitors. It was then run, amd may still be, by a very inposing nun called Mother Tekla. For me it is memorable in that it was in their chapel that I first met Pope John Paul II after I and some other seminarians had served Mass for him. Before meeting him I was unexcited by the opportunity, but his presence and seeing him at prayer before greeting us was incredible, and I came to appreciate the person he was. Today is a good day to pray fro Europe.