The church cemented its place in history in August 1980, during the labour strikes in Gdańsk.
In 1374, the funeral procession carrying the remains of the founder of the Holiest Saviour Convent, Bridget of Sweden, which was travelling from Rome to Vadstena in Sweden, made a stop in Gdańsk. The residents of Gdańsk paid great homage to the deceased, whose sarcophagus and relics were initially laid in the Marian Church and then in the chapel of penitents, where it stayed for two weeks. This event made such a great impression on the people that it gave birth to the cult St. Bridget, maintained by the Bridgettine Convent, which settled in the city in 1386.
During the years 1396-1397, the Bridgettines built the first, single-aisle, church under the calling of St. Bridget, which was expanded until the 16th Century, when the temple was consumed by fire. The beginning of the 17th Century turned out to be very laborious to the Bridgettines, as they rebuilt the aisle of the church and provided it with Renaissance interior decoration. The final form was provided to the temple and the convent during the first half of the 18th Century.
During the war operations in 1945, the church was burned down and mostly destroyed. It was not reconstructed for a long time, and the last preserved fragments of the roof truss and one of the peaks of the south aisle burned down in 1957. The temple remained in ruins until 1970, when its reconstruction was began under the initiative of parish priest Henryk Jankowski. The renovation and furnishing work lasted until 1987, when the H. Han painting of “St. Bridget’s Apotheosis” was installed in the vestry.
Due to the activity of Lech Wałęsa’s labour union and the importance of the location to Catholics during the communist regime, St. Bridget’s Church is considered as a certain sanctuary of “Solidarity” and a monument to the difficult road to freedom, which Poland had to conquer in the 20th Century. The tragic history of post-war Poland is recalled by the sculptures from the chisels of Elżbieta and Rafał Pelpliński and a statue presenting the martyr’s death of priest Jerzy Popiełuszko, created by Wawrzyniec Samp.
The year 2001 saw the initiation of the work on the creation of the great amber top of the main altar in the church’s presbytery. It will reach the vault and arch over the tabernacle and the altar mensa. The area of the decoration will ultimately reach 99 m2, towering over the Amber Chamber. The monumental amber altar with a height of 11 m and a width of 6 m will be in the form of a triptych with the painting of the Mother of God of the Labour World in the central part. The church currently presents the fragments of the constructed altar and the magnificent amber monstrance created by Mariusz Drapikowski.