Pax Mariae Abbey

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Vadstena Monastery, in the foreground the wing for the nuns, in the background the monastery church
View of the vault inside the church

The Abbey Pax Mariae is located in the city of Vadstena in the Swedish province of Östergötland . The monastery consecrated to Our Lady of Peace , like all monasteries of the Order of the Redeemer, was originally a double monastery . A Birgittinnen convent has been living there again since 1963 .


The foundation stone for a monastery was laid in the town of Vadstena in 1346, which was owned by St. Birgitta was to become the mother monastery for the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer, which she founded. The monastery was consecrated in 1384, eleven years after the death of St. Birgitta . It developed into a spiritual center and, thanks to donations, became the largest landowner in Sweden. The monastery was secularized during the Reformation in 1595.

In 1369 the construction of the Gothic monastery church began. According to the instructions of St. Birgitta, the church should be built simply and without ornament. In 1374 their daughter, Saint Catherine of Sweden , succeeded Birgittas as the new abbess of the monastery.

The church is a three-aisled Gothic building made of blue-gray limestone, hence the name Blåkyrkan (" Blue Church "). The choir of the nuns was in the east, while the choir of the friars was in the west. The church was able to be consecrated in 1430, but it took another decade to finally complete. During restorations in the 18th and 19th centuries, the roof structure in particular was changed. The Virgin Mary and St. Birgitta church was very popular as a Church of the Holy Sepulcher and a large number of medieval tombstones have been preserved. Among those buried there is the Danish-Swedish Queen Philippa (1394–1430), a great benefactress of the convent; it is also immortalized on one of the church windows. In the Blakyrkan there are relics of St. Birgitta and Katharina of Sweden.

The convent of the Birgittinnen von Vadstena no longer lives in the historic building, but in a new building with its own chapel near the historic monastery grounds. The new monastery Pax Mariae was repopulated in 1963 by Dutch Birgittinnen; so the order returned to its place of birth. A black veil with a stylized white crown with the five holy wounds belongs to the habit of the nuns with solemn profession .


In 1991, Maria Karin Adolfsson (* 1946), called Mother Karin , was appointed an abbess in Vadstena for the first time since 1593 . Her successor, Jenny Maria Schaub (* 1961), consecrated on January 5, 2016, is only the third abbess consecrated in Sweden since the Reformation .


The story of Sankt Brigittas Heiligtum , by Konrad Kümmel (1848–1936), published in the second volume of his series Sonntagsstille ( Herder Verlag , Freiburg, 1906), revolves around the Vadstena monastery.

Web links

Commons : Vadstena Monastery  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. ^ Anna Nick: Abbess ordination in Vadstena. In: Praktikum im Norden ( Archdiocese of Paderborn ), January 11, 2016, accessed on December 1, 2019.

Coordinates: 58 ° 27 ′ 2 "  N , 14 ° 53 ′ 29"  E