(active around 1400)

Revelations of St Bridget of Sweden

c. 1400
Illumination on parchment, 268 x 190 mm
The Morgan Library and Museum, New York

The illumination shows St Bridget's mystical vision of God.

The often dramatic staging of the transubstantiation of the Eucharistic bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ reaches its high point when the priest raises the host. Through this act, the believer was able to feel the presence of God, but without being able to see the divine rays of God's gaze necessary for this metamorphosis to take place. This is something witnessed only by the Elect, of whom St Bridget of Sweden was one.

In an illustration of one of her visions, we can see how the transformation of the host occurred. The saint is seated at her writing desk. In front of her the Eucharist is being celebrated. her head is lit by a divine ray which descends from an open heaven in which the angels and saints have gathered. The Virgin and Christ, seated in a mandorla, impart the rays which reveal the miracle: only Bridget is able to see the body of Christ rising from the wafer.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.