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Tongues and Other Miraculous Gifts in the Second Through Nineteenth Centuries, Part 4: From the 13th to the 18th Centuries

 

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Richard M. Riss presents evidence for the operation of the gifts of the Spirit throughout the Church Age.

 

Clare of Montefalco

Among several thirteenth-century figures we have discussed, St. Clare of Montefalco (d. 1308) has had a number of miracles attributed to her, as well as frequent ecstasies and supernatural gifts, which she used for the good of people both outside her convent and within it.74 One of her biographers, Mosconio, wrote that an unbelieving physician,, Philip, admitted that he had listened enviously when Clare uttered praises to the Lord and “engaged in holy conversations, speaking heavenly words about heavenly things.”75

 

Bridget of Sweden

One of the most important saints of the fourteenth century was Bridget (A.D. 1303-1373) who founded the Order of the Most Holy Saviour (the Brigittines) in Sweden. It was her personal revelations that had made her famous. In the late 1340’s, she received a command of the Lord to go to the royal court and warn King Magnus of the judgement of God on his sins. She did this, and also warned the queen, the nobles and the bishops. For a while, the king repented. He provided a great deal of money for the founding of a monastery at Vadstena that Bridget had decided to begin in response to another vision. During the fifteenth century this monastery became the literary center of Sweden.

Bridget was beloved by the people of Sweden. She would travel about the country looking after the material and spiritual needs of the people. Soon, many of them were converted, and many miracles of healing at her hands confirmed the preaching of her chaplains.

Bridget was beloved by the people of Sweden. She would travel about the country looking after the material and spiritual needs of the people. Soon, many of them were converted, and many miracles of healing at her hands confirmed the preaching of her chaplains.

Among the most well know event in the life of Bridget were the many revelations that she received from God on the sufferings of Christ and on events that were about to happen in certain kingdoms. Her prophecies and revelations were directly related to most of the important political and religious issues of her time in both Sweden and Rome. At one point she prophesied that the pope and emperor would soon meet peaceably in Rome, and this was fulfilled between Pope Urban V and Charles IV in 1368. Bridget always submitted her revelations to the judgement of the pastors of the church. In Alban Butler’s Lives of the Saints, it is written that “to have the knowledge of angels without charity is to be only a tinkling cymbal; both to have charity and to speak the language of angels was the happy privilege of St. Bridget.”76

 

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Category: Church History, Summer 1999

About the Author: Richard M. Riss (as of Fall 1998) is Assistant Professor of Church History at Zarephath Bible Institute in Zarephath, New Jersey. He holds a Master of Christian Studies degree from Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia (1979) and a Master of Arts in Church History from Trinity Divinity School (1988). He is currently finishing a Ph.D. degree in Church History at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Richard M. Riss has authored several books including The Evidence of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (1977), The Latter Rain Movement of 1948 and the Mid-Twentieth Century Evangelical Awakening (1987), A Survey of 20th-Century Revival Movements in North America and with Kathryn J. Riss, Images of Revival (1997).

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