Henry (Bishop of Uppsala)

Henry (Bishop of Uppsala)

Infobox Saint
name=Henry, Bishop of Uppsala
death_date=Traditionally January 20 1150Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|pp=55–62.]
feast_day=January 19
venerated_in=Catholic Church of Finland

caption=Henry walking on his murderer. Painting from the Church of Taivassalo about 1450.
death_place=Köyliö in Finland
titles=Bishop, missionary, martyr
patronage=Catholic Cathedral of Helsinki
major_shrine=Earlier Cathedral of Turku, today only Catholic Cathedral of Helsinki
issues=Existence disputed

Saint Henry ("pyhä Henrik" or "piispa Henrik" in Finnish, "Biskop Henrik" or "Sankt Henrik" in Swedish, "Henricus" et cetera in Latin; died allegedly 20 January circa 1150) was a medieval Swedish clergyman. According to legends, he conquered Finland together with King Eric the Saint of Sweden and died as a martyr, becoming a central figure in the local Roman Catholic Church. However, the authenticity of the accounts of his life, ministry, and death are widely disputed.

Together with his alleged murderer Lalli, Henry remains one of the most recognized people from the early history of Finland. His feast continues to be celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church of Finland, and he is commemorated in several Protestant liturgical calendars.

Official legend

"Vita" and "miracula"

The officially accepted legend of Bishop Henry's life, or his "Vita", was written at the end of the 13th century. It contains little concrete information about Henry. He is said to have been an English-born Bishop of Uppsala at the time of King Eric the Saint of Sweden in the mid-12th century, ruling the peaceful kingdom with the king in heavenly co-existence. To tackle the perceived threat from the non-Christian Finns, Eric and Henry were forced to battle them. After they had conquered Finland, baptized the people and built many churches, the victorious king returned to Sweden while Henry ("Henricus") remained with the Finns, more willing to live the life of a preacher than that of a high bishop.Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|pp=398–417 In Latin and in Finnish. All 52 known versions of the legend, many of which are fragmented, can also be downloaded from a [http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/ttonteri/casc/download/legend.zip server] of the University of Helsinki.]

The legend draws to a conclusion as Henry attempted to give a canonical punishment to a murderer. The accused man became enraged and killed the bishop, who was thus considered to be a martyr.

The legend strongly emphasizes that Henry was a Bishop of Uppsala, not a Bishop of Finland [Bishop of Finland was renamed as the Bishop of Turku by 1259, see [ Letter by Pope Alexander VI to the Bishop of Turku] in 1259. In Latin.] which became a conventional claim later on, also by the church itself.For example, in Bishop Paulus Juusten's "Chronicon episcoporum Finlandensium" from the mid-16th century (not to be confused with another chronicle of the same name about 100 years earlier), Henry is listed as the first Bishop of Finland without any additional reservations.] He stayed in Finland out of pity, but was never appointed as a bishop there. The legend does not state whether there had been bishops in Finland before his time or what happened after his death; it does not even mention his burial in Finland. The "vita" is so void of any concrete information about Finland that it could have been created anywhere. The Latin is scholastic and the grammar is in general exceptionally good. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=188]

Henry's "Vita" is followed by the more local "miracula", a list of eleven miracles that various people were said to have experienced sometime after the bishop's death. With the exception of a priest in Skara who had gotten a stomach ache after mocking Henry, all miracles seem to have taken place in Finland. The other miracles, which usually occurred following prayer to Bishop Henry, were:

# The murderer lost his scalp when he put the bishop's hat on his head
# The Bishop's finger was found the next Spring
# A boy was raised from the dead in Kaisala
# A girl was raised from the dead in Vehmaa
# A sick woman was healed in Sastamala
# A Franciscan called Erlend had his headache healed
# A blind woman got back her eye-sight in Kyrö
# A man with a paralyzed leg could walk again in Kyrö
# A sick girl was healed
# A group of fishermen from Kokemäki survived a storm

Most versions of Henry's legend only include a selection of these miracles. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=172.]

Development of the legend

Henry and his crusade to Finland were also a part of the legend of King Eric. However, the oldest surviving version of Eric's legend is from about 1270, yet there is no information on either Henry or the crusade. The appendix of the early 13th century "Västgötalagen", which has a short description of Eric's memorable deeds, also makes no reference to Henry or the crusade. [ [http://www.nordlund.lu.se/Fornsvenska/Fsv%20Folder/01_Bitar/A.L5.D-Vidhem.html Original text] as hosted by the University of Lund. See also Beckman, Natanael (S1886): "Medeltidslatin bland skaradjäknar 1943:1 s. 3".] Henry and the crusade are both fully present only in a version of Eric's legend that dates to 1344. Similarities in the factual content and phraseology regarding the common events indicate that either one of the legends has acted as the model for the other. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=189.] Henry's legend is commonly considered to have been written during the 1280s or 1290s at the latest, for the consecration of the Cathedral of Turku in 1300, when his alleged remains were translated there from Nousiainen, a parish not far from Turku. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=234.] Yet, even as late as in the 1470s, the crusade legend was ignored in the "Chronica regni Gothorum", a chronicle of the history of Sweden, written by Ericus Olai, the Canon of the Uppsala cathedral. [Harvnb|Nygren|1953|pp=216–242.]

Noteworthy in the development of the legend is that the first canonically elected Bishop of Turku, a certain Johan (1286–1289) of Polish origin, was elected as the Archbishop of Uppsala in 1289, after three years in office in Turku. The Swedish "chancellor" bishops before him, Bero, Ragvald and Kettil, had apparently been selected by the King of Sweden. Related to the new situation was also the appointment of the king's brother as the Duke of Finland in 1284, which challenged the bishop's earlier position as the sole authority on all local matters. Johan was followed in Turku by Bishop Magnus (1291–1308), who had been born in Finland. [Harvnb|Kari|2004|pp=122–123,132–134.]

The first mention of Bishop Henry in historical sources is in 1296 (or 1297), when he is addressed by Pope Boniface VIII as the "patronus" of the Cathedral of Turku along with the Virgin Mary. Boniface also called him a "saint".Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=95. See also [http://www.arkkihiippakunta.fi/cgi-bin/linnea.pl?document=00010680 History of the Cathedral of Turku] by the Archdiocese of Turku.] Five years earlier, a longish document by the cathedral chapter makes no reference to Henry even though it mentions the cathedral and election of the new bishop many times. [ [ Letter by the Turku cathedral chapter] in 1291. In Latin.] A papal letter by Pope Nicholas IV from 1292 has the Virgin Mary as the sole "patronus" in Turku. [ [ Letter by Pope Nicholas IV] in 1292. In Latin.] The legend itself is first referred to in a letter by Archbishop of Uppsala in 1298. Eric and Henry are mentioned together as martyrs who needed to be prayed to for the sake of the situation in Karelia, [Harvnb|Linna|1989|p=113.] thus associating their alleged crusade to Finland with the new expeditions against Novgorod. The war between Novgorod and Sweden for the control of Karelia had started in 1293. The first certain appearance of Henry's image in the seal of the Bishop of Turku is from 1299. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=97.]

Thus, Henry's veneration as a saint and his relation to King Eric seem to have emerged in the historical record at the same time in the mid-1290s with strong support from the church. This correlates with the start of the war against Novgorod. Sources do not support the popular assumption, that Henry's cult had developed in Nousiainen and gradually spread among ordinary people before official adoption. Although Nousiainen had Henry as its "patronus", that is first mentioned only in 1452. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=86.] Still in 1232, the church in Nousiainen was consecrated to the Virgin Mary only.

Some sources claim that Henry was canonized in 1158, but this information has been traced to a late publication by Johannes Vastovius in 1708 and is generally regarded as a fabrication.Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=100.]


Despite the high profile start of Henry's "cultus", it took more than 100 years for the veneration of Saint Henry to gain widespread acceptance throughout Sweden. As of 1344 there were no relics of the bishop in the Cathedral of Uppsala. According to one biographer, Henry's veneration was rare outside the Diocese of Turku throughout the 14th century. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=116.] Vadstena Abbey near Linköping seems to have played a key role in establishment of Henry's legend elsewhere in Sweden in the early 15th century. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=204.] Henry never received the highest "totum duplex" veneration in Uppsala nor was he made a "patronus" of the church there, which status he had both in Turku and Nousiainen. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=87.]

At the end of the Roman Catholic era in Sweden, Henry was well established as a local saint. The dioceses in Sweden and elsewhere venerating Henry were as follows, categorized by his local ranking: [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=79.]

# "Totum duplex": Turku, Linköping, Strängnäs
# "Duplex": Uppsala, Lund (Denmark), Västerås, Växjö
# "Semiduplex": Nidaros (Norway)
# "Simplex": Skara [Noteworthy is that king Eric was from Västergötaland, which was a part of the Diocese of Skara.]

Henry seems to have been known in northern Germany, but he was largely ignored elsewhere in the Roman Catholic world. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|pp=118–125.]

In the Bishopric of Turku, the annual feast day of Henry was January 20 ("talviheikki", "Winter Henry"), according to traditions the day of his death. Elsewhere his memorial was held already on January 19, [Interestingly, January 19 was also the memorial of King Canute IV of Denmark who had been canonized January 19, 1101 by Pope Paschal II. Coincidentally, also his relics were translated in 1300, to the Saint Canute's Cathedral in Odense.] since more prominent saints were already commemorated on January 20. After the Reformation, Henry's day was moved to the 19th in Finland as well. [ [http://www.evl.fi/arkkipiispa/henrik.htm Archbishop Jukka Paarma's speech on Henry] . In Finnish.] The existence of the feast day is first mentioned in 1335, and is known to have been marked in the liturgical calendar from the early 15th century onwards. Another memorial was held on June 18 ("kesäheikki", "Summer Henry") which was the day of the translation of his relics to the Cathedral of Turku. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=80,96]

"Gaudeamus omnes" ("Let all rejoice"), a Gregorian introit for the Mass in honor of Henry has survived in the late 14th or early 15th century "Graduale Aboense". [ [http://libraries.theeuropeanlibrary.org/Finland/treasures_en.xml Graduale Aboense] in [http://www.theeuropeanlibrary.org/ The European Library] .] Listen to the introit:

Political dimensions

According to legend, establishment of the church of Finland was entirely the work of the saint-king Eric of Sweden, assisted by the bishop from the most important diocese in the country. The first half of the legend describes how the king and the bishop ruled Sweden like "two great lights" with feelings of 'internal love' toward each other, emphasizing the peaceful coexistence of the secular and ecclesiastical rule during a happy era when 'predatory wolves' could not hit their "poisonous teeth against the innocent". The reality was quite different—Eric's predecessor, Eric himself and two of his successors were all murdered almost within a decade, one of the bloodiest times for the Swedish royalty. In the 1150s, the Bishop of Uppsala was also in a bitter fight with the Bishop of Linköping over which see would become archiepiscopal. [Harvnb|Kari|2004|pp=110–112.] The crusade itself is described as a brief and bloodless event that was only performed to bring the "blind and evil heathen people of Finland" under Christian order.

The writer of the legend seems to have been especially interested in presenting the bishop as a humble martyr. He has fully ignored his place of death and burial and other "domestic" Finnish interests, which were much more apparent in folk traditions. The official legend and folk traditions eventually influenced each other, and the church gradually adopted many additional details to its saint bishop. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=256.]

Folk traditions

Among the many folk traditions about Henry, the most prominent is the folk poem "The Death-lay of Bishop Henry" ("Piispa Henrikin surmavirsi"). The poem almost totally ignores Henry's life and ministry and concentrates on his death. [http://agricola.utu.fi/hist/kronologia/henrik.html The Death-lay of Bishop Henry] . In Finnish.]

Henry's origins

According to the poem, Henry had grown up in "Cabbage Land" ("Kaalimaa"), which has puzzled Finnish historians for centuries. The name might be connected to a coastal area in northern Finland Proper called "Kaland", which is also mentioned in conjunction with an unrelated early preacher in Vesilahti, central Tavastia, whose local name was "Fish of Kaland" ("Kalannin kala", also known as "Hunnun herra"). [Harvnb|Werner|1958|pp=. Harvnb|Lähteenmäki|1946|pp=.] Bishop Mikael Agricola wrote in his "Se Wsi Testamenti" in 1548, that the earliest Swedish settlers in Finland had come from Gotland to the islets on the coast of Kaland, being harassed by Finns and seeking help from their relatives in Sweden. [Harvnb|Agricola|1987|pp=]

It has also been suggested that the name might be related to Gaelic, which would presumably have referred to the bishop's Scottish origins. [ [http://www.kirkko850.fi/html/vuosisadat.htm About Bishop Henry by the Lutheran Church of Finland] .]

Folk traditions have no information on the crusade whatsoever. King Eric is briefly mentioned in the death-lay's preface as Henry's concerned "brother". Henry appears as a lone preacher who moved around southwestern Finland more or less on his own. Besides the name, he has only little in common with the official Henry in the church "vita".

Kokemäki is often mentioned in traditions as a place where Henry preached. [ [http://www.kokemaki.fi/asukas/vapaa-aika/kulttuuri/historia/villa_cumasta_kokemaen_kaupunkii/] on the official www site of the municipality of Kokemäki.] Kokemäki was one of the main parishes in Satakunta already in the late Iron Age. [Harvnb|Suvanto|1973|pp=.]

Death and burial

The death-lay's version of the bishop's death was different from the official "vita". The bishop's killer was called Lalli. Lalli's wife Kerttu falsely claimed to him that upon leaving the manor, their ungrateful guest Henry, travelling around on his own in the middle of winter, had without permission or recompense, through violence, taken food for himself and hay for his horse. This is supposed to have enraged Lalli so that he immediately grabbed his skis and went in pursuit of the thief, finally chasing Henry down on the ice of Lake Köyliönjärvi. There he killed him on the spot with an axe. In some versions of the poem, considered older, Lalli's weapon was a sword. Axe was the murder weapon of Saint Olaf, who was very popular in Finland and may have influenced Henry's legend. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=259. Satakunta, the traditional region of Henry's activities, had Saint Olaf as its regional saint. Olaf's cult remained much more popular in Satakunta throughout the Middle Ages, presumably because it had been well established long before Henry's.]

Bishop Henry's body was then buried at Nousiainen. According to the poem, that was the place where the team of oxen pulling his hearse stopped.

Medieval folk traditions enumerate the pestilences and misfortunes which befell Lalli after his slaying of the bishop. His hair and scalp are said to have fallen out as he took off the bishop's cap, taken as a trophy. Removing the bishop's ring from his finger, just bones remained. Eventually he ran into a lake and drowned himself.

Development of folk traditions

Basically the death-lay is a simple story of a short-tempered man who falls victim of his "bad-mouthed wife's" sharp tongue. The poem has no pity for Lalli, and he is not depicted as a hero in a story whose true antagonist is Kerttu. The way the poem presents Henry's death, builds on an independent tradition that in some point of time was in direct competition with the "official" version, which is largely forgotten today. Whether the two traditions were built around the same person, remains unknown.Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|pp=246–256.]

The poem, following the traditional Kalevala metre, has survived as several 17th and 18th century literations from various parts of Finland. Some of its elements appear in earlier works, but it hardly dates older than the official Catholic "vita".Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=253.] Whether the original poem was constructed by one or more individuals, is debated. The writer has however had superficial understanding of the church legends.

Both Lalli (Laurentius) and Kerttu (Gertrud) are originally German names, which might indicate that the poem was partly constructed on foreign models, whose influence is visible in other aspects, too. The way Lalli is manipulated to commit the crime and what happens to him later, seem to be taken from a medieval Judas fable. [http://www.tieteessatapahtuu.fi/0806/Anttonen0806.pdf Article in "Tieteessä tapahtuu" magazine] . 2006/8. In Finnish.] Extensive borrowing from unrelated Finnish legends from the pre-Christian era has taken place as well, leaving quite little original material left at all. [ [http://www.koylio-seura.fi/surmavirsi/html/files/1_Oiva_Linturin_gradu.doc Linguistic analysis of the poem] . Provided by the Köyliö Association; in Finnish.]

Based on finds from medieval church ruins in the tiny island of "Kirkkokari" ("Church Rock", previously known as the "Island of Saint Henry") in Lake Köyliönjärvi, the bishop's veneration began in the latter half of the 14th century, well after Henry had received his official status as a local saint, and 200 years after his alleged death. [See [http://www.rauma.fi/Raumanseutu/Paikallishistorian_opetusmateriaali/keskiaika.htm] ; in Finnish. See also [http://www.nba.fi/fi/mjhkohteetsatakunta#kirkkokari description by the National Board of Antiquities of Finland] ; in Finnish.] A small granary in the near-by Kokemäki, claimed to have been the bishop's place of rest the night before his death, could not be dated earlier than the late 15th century in dendrological examinations. [ [http://www.nba.fi/fi/mjhkohteetsatakunta#telja Description of Bishop Henry's Granary by the National Board of Antiquities of Finland] .]

However, the poem's claim that Henry was buried in Nousiainen was already an official truth around 1300, when his alleged bones were translated from Nousiainen to the Cathedral of Turku. A mid-15th century "Chronicon episcoporum Finlandensium" also confirmed Köyliö as the place of his death. [http://www.columbia.edu/acis/ets/Sweden/Abo/abo.html Chronicon episcoporum Finlandensium] , hosted by the University of Columbia.] Neither place is mentioned in the official "vita" in any way. The church seems to have gradually complemented its own legends by adopting elements from the folk traditions, especially during the 15th century.

Historical sources

Today, the official Catholic legend of Henry is challenged by historians to the point of being labelled as pure imagination. Completely invented saints were not exceptional in Europe, [Harvnb|Delehaye|1955|pp=.] and in the lack of evidence of either the crusade or Henry, that possibility may not be fully denied. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=78.]

The bishop's violent death itself was nothing exceptional and could well have happened. Many bishops were murdered during the turmoils of the 12th and 13th centuries, although most were not elevated to sainthood. Saxo Grammaticus said of the Battle of Fotevik in 1134 that never had so many bishops been killed at the same time. Notable bishops that died violently included the Archbishop of Uppsala in 1187, [Archbishop Johannes. Harvnb|Åsbrink|1935|p=.] Bishop of Estonia in 1219 [Bishop Theoderich. See [http://www.estonica.org/eng/lugu.html?menyy_id=94&kateg=43&alam=61&leht=2 Estonian Middle Ages] by the [http://www.einst.ee/ Estonian Institute] .] and Bishop of Linköping in 1220.Bishop Karl Magnusson. Harvnb|Andresen|1997 (2002)|p=.]

Bishop of Uppsala

There is no historical record of a Bishop of Uppsala called Henry during the reign of King Eric (about 1156–1160). Early phases of the diocese remain obscure up to the point of Stefan, who was appointed as the archbishop in 1164. [Harvnb|Åsbrink|1935|p=.]

A certain Henry is mentioned in "Incerti scriptorts Sueci chronicon primorumin ecclesia Upsalensi archiepiscoporum", a chronicle of Uppsala archbishops, before Coppmannus and Stefan, but after Sverinius (probably mentioned in German sources in 1141/2 as "Siwardus" [See [http://runeberg.org/nfce/0130.html] .] ), Nicolaus and Sweno. [See [http://www.columbia.edu/acis/ets/Sweden/Uppsala1/ups1.html] . Hosted by the University of Columbia. In Latin.] Besides the name, the chronicle knows that he was martyred and buried in Finland in the Cathedral of Turku. Latest research dates the chronicle to the early 15th century when Henry's legend was already established in the kingdom, leaving only little significance to its testimony. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=60.]

A late 15th century "legenda nova" claimed that Henry had come to Sweden in the retinue of papal legate Nicholas Breakspear, the later Pope Adrian IV, and appointed as the Bishop of Uppsala by him. Even though "legenda nova" states 1150 as the year of the crusade, it is certain from other sources that Nicholas really was in Sweden in 1153. If this was just a conclusion by the writer himself based on the fact that also Nicholas was an Englishman, is not known. [Medieval "Anglia docens" propaganda wanted to play down the Danish part in the establishment of the Swedish church, often claiming early clergymen to have English heritage or education. Harvnb|Schmidt|1934|pp=.] However, there is no information about anyone called as Henry accompanying the legate in any source describing the visit, nor him appointing a new bishop in Uppsala. [Bergquist, Anders. "Kardinalen som blev påve". 2003. Föreläsning den 15 November 2003. 850-årsjubileum. Kyrkomötet 1153.] Another claim by "legenda nova" was that Henry was translated to Turku cathedral already in 1154, which certainly was false since the cathedral was built only in the 1290s. In the late 16th century, Bishop Paulus Juusten claimed that Henry had been the Bishop of Uppsala for two years before the crusade. Based on these postulates, early 20th century historians assembled 1155 as the year of the crusade and 1156 as the year of Henry's death.Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=59.] Historians from different centuries have also suggested various other years from 1150 to 1158.

Contradicting these claims, the medieval "Annales Suecici Medii Aevi" [Harvnb|Paulsson|1974|pp=. The "Annales" were written in the Sigtuna Abbey. See [http://www.foteviken.se/Utblick/Art_utblick/utb006.htm an article] by the Museum of Foteviken.] and the 13th century legend of Saint Botvid [ [http://saints.sqpn.com/ncd01391.htm Saint Botvid in the New Catholic Dictionary] . Botvid had been converted to Christianity in England. He was martyred around 1100 in Sweden. Interestingly, [http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/dailysaint/july/0728.asp some sources] claim that he was murdered by a Finnish slave. See also [http://fornvannen.se/pdf/1950talet/1952_178.pdf] .] mention some Henry as the Bishop of Uppsala ("Henricus scilicet Upsalensis") in 1129, participating in the consecration of the saint's newly built church. [See [http://runeberg.org/nfbi/0366.html] . In Swedish.] He is apparently the same Bishop Henry who died at the Battle of Fotevik in 1134, fighting along with the Danes after being banished from Sweden. Known from the "Chronicon Roskildense" written soon after his death and from Saxo Grammaticus' "Gesta Danorum" from the early 13th century, he had fled to Denmark from Sigtuna, the see of the early Uppland bishops before it was moved a few kilometers to its later location in Uppsala sometime before 1164. [Sigtuna is mentioned as the earlier location of the Uppsala see in a letter by Pope Alexander III to the King Knut Eriksson and Jarl Birger Brosa in 1170s (Svenskt Diplomatarium I nr 852. Originalbrev).] [The first Uppland bishops were appointed for "Sictunam et Ubsalam" in the 1060s. See [http://hbar.phys.msu.su/gorm/chrons/bremen.htm Adam of Bremen, Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum] , online text in Latin; scholia 94.] He is ignored in all Swedish bishop chronicles, unless he is the same Henry who was later redated to 1150s. That would make the claim about him coming to Finland with King Eric a late innovation, where memory about a killed bishop in Uppsala sometime in the 12th century was reused in a new context. [Harvnb|Schmidt|1934|pp=.]

Noteworthy also, is a story written down by Adam of Bremen in his "Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum" (Deeds of Bishops of the Hamburg Church) from 1075/6 about a certain foreigner called "Hericus", who was slain and martyred while preaching among the "Sueones". Adam had heard the story from King Sweyn II of Denmark. [ [http://hbar.phys.msu.su/gorm/chrons/bremen.htm Adam of Bremen, Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum] , online text in Latin. See III 53.] According to some historians, resemblance to later legend about an English-born "Henricus", who was allegedly slain and martyred in Finland, is too striking to be a coincidence. [Harvnb|Linna|1996|pp=148–207.]

Bishop of Finland

No historical source remains that would confirm the existence of a bishop named Henry in Finland. However, papal letters mentioning an unidentified Bishop of Finland in 1209, 1221, 1229 and 1232 have survived. [Papal letters [ 1209] , [ 1221] , [ 1229] , [ 1229] , [ 1229] , [ 1229] , [ 1229] , [ 1229] , [ 1229] , [ 1232] . In Latin. Hosted by the [http://www.narc.fi/ National Archive of Finland] . See [http://www.narc.fi/Arkistolaitos/sahkoiset/] and "Diplomatarium Fennicum" from the menu.] Some copies of another papal letter from 1232 call the bishop as "N.", [ Papal letter to chaplain of Nousiainen] in 1232. In Latin.] but the letter "N" may originally have also been something resembling it. The first certainly known Bishop of Finland is Thomas, who is first mentioned in 1234. [ [ Letter by Bishop Thomas to his chaplain] . In Latin.] It is however possible, that Fulco, the Bishop of Estonia mentioned in sources from 1165 and 1171, was the same as Folquinus, a legendary Bishop of Finland at the end of the 12th century, but this remains only a theory. [Harvnb|Juva|1964|p=125.]

No Bishop or Diocese of Finland is mentioned in a papal letter from 1171 (or 1172) by the seemingly well-informed Pope Alexander III, who otherwise addressed the situation of the church in Finland. The Pope mentions that there were preachers, presumably from Sweden, working in Finland and was worried about their bad treatment by the Finns. [ [ Letter by Pope Alexander III to the Archbishop of Uppsala] . In Latin.] The Pope had earlier in 1165 authorized the first missionary Bishop of Estonia to be appointed, and was a close acquaintance of both Eskil, the Archbishop of Lund, and Stefan, the Archbishop of Uppsala, who both had spent time with him in France where he had been exiled in the 1160s. Following the situation in Estonia, the Pope personally interfered in the Estonian mission in 1171, ordering assistance for the local Bishop Fulco from Norway.Harvnb|Rebane|1989|pp=37–68. Harvnb|Rebane|2001|p=171–200]

No surviving list of bishops or dioceses under the Archibishop of Uppsala from 1164, 1189, 1192, 1233, 1241 or 1248 contains any reference to Finland, neither factual or propagandist. No claim about a Swedish bishop in Finland is made in any other source from the era prior to the so-called Second Swedish Crusade in 1249.Harvnb|Linna|1989|p=.]

The first mention of a bishop in Finland is from a papal letter in 1209. It was sent to Archbishop Anders of Lund by Pope Innocent III as a reply to the Archbishop's earlier letter which has not survived. According to the Archbishop, the Bishop of the newly established church in Finland was dead, apparently from natural causes since his passing away is mentioned to have been "lawful", and the see had been vacant for some time. The Archbishop had complained to the Pope how difficult it was to get anyone to be a bishop in Finland and planned to appoint someone without formal adequacy, who was already working in Finland. The Pope approved of Archbishop's suggestion without questioning his opinions. [ [ Letter by Pope Innocent III to the Archbishop of Lund] . In Latin.] It is noteworthy that the Archbishop of Uppsala, Valerius (1207–1219/1224), was also in Denmark at the time, temporarily exiled from Sweden after having allied with the deposed King Sverker, yet another exile in Denmark. [Harvnb|Åsbrink|1935|p=.]

Whether the appointment of the said preacher ever took place, remains unknown. Note should be taken that the King of Sweden at the time was Eric, a grandson of his better known namesake Eric the Saint. Eric had taken over Sweden in 1208 and was crowned king two years later. The Pope who had strongly sided with Sverker, ignored him at first, but finally recognized him in 1216, commenting many requests that he had apparently made ever since having taken the office. Based on the papal letter that year, Eric seems to have had a plan to invade some country that allegedly had been "taken from the heathens by his predecessors" and was allowed to install a bishop there. [ [ Papal letter to King Eric in 1216] . In Latin.] Similar letters were sent to the King of Denmark in 1208 and 1218, who is known to have meant Estonia both times. Sweden also attacked Estonia in 1220. Eric died of illness 1216. Almost nothing is known about his time as the king. [Harvnb|Linna|1989|p=113.]

Nevertheless, someone was eventually appointed and installed as the new bishop, since Pope Honorius III sent a letter directly to an unnamed Bishop of Finland in 1221. According to the letter, Archbishop Valerius [Note that the letter does not mention the name of the archbishop. However, Valerius had died in 1219 and the Uppsala see was vacant until 1224.] had followed the situation in Finland and sent a report to the Pope, worried about a threat from unidentified "barbarians". It is notable that when the Pope quoted Valerius in his letter, he calls the church in Finland to have been established "newly", the same claim that Anders had made 12 years earlier. [ [ Papal letter to Bishop of Finland] in 1221. In Latin.] No list of Swedish bishops survives from the era, so the bishop's possible position under Uppsala's primacy remains unverified.

Despite so many high-ranking church representatives being involved in the 1209/1221 arrangements, later chronicles are fully ignorant on the situation in Finland at the time, or if there was even a bishop then. The first 13th century bishop is said to have been Thomas, and his predecessor remains unknown. According to 15th and 16th century chronicles, Henry was followed by bishops Rodulff and Folquinus, after whom there was a 25–30 year gap before Thomas.



Henry was allegedly buried in Nousiainen, from where his bones—or at least something that was thought to be his bones—were translated to Turku in 1300. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=94. Some historians have proposed that the translation took place already before 1296, or even so late than 1309. The year 1300 is from the mid-15th century "Chronicon" and remains generally accepted.] In addition to traditions, the only source connecting Nousiainen to early bishops is a letter signed by Bishop Thomas in Nousiainen in 1234. [ [ Letter by Bishop Thomas to his chaplain] in 1234. In Latin.] Archaeological excavations of pre-Catholic cemeteries in Nousiainen and surrounding parishes show a clear discontinuation of traditions in the early 13th century, but no abrupt changes are apparent in the religious environment among the 12th century finds. [Harvnb|Purhonen|1998|p=. The book contains a thorough comparison of finds from dozens of cemeteries around southwestern Finland.]

Whatever the case, the bishop's grave seems to have been traced to Nousiainen latest after his elevation to sainthood. A number of medieval documents mention that the bishop's grave continued to be located in the local church, presumably meaning that all the bones had not been translated to Turku.Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|p=108.] The church was later adorned with a grandiose 15th century cenotaph, whose replica can be found in the National Museum of Finland in Helsinki. [Harvnb|Heikkilä|2005|pp=257–61.]

Most of the bones in Turku were still in place in 1720 when they were catalogued for a transfer to Saint Petersburg during the Russian occupation of Finland in the Great Northern War. The man behind the idea was the infamous Swedish Count Gustaf Otto Douglas who had defected to the Russian side during the war and was in charge of the grim occupation of Finland. [Harvnb|Kari|2004|p=135.] What happened to the bones after that, remains unknown. According to some sources, the Russian vessel transporting the relics sank on the way. However, it is generally acknowledged that a piece of Henry's ulna had been placed in Bishop Hemming's reliquarium that was built in 1514 and treasured in the cathedral. Also enclosed was a piece of parchment stating the bone belonged to Henry. During the restoration work of the cathedral, the relic was relocated to the National Board of Antiquities.

In the 1990s, the National Board of Antiquities claimed the relic as its own on the basis of the Finnish law on ancient objects and was contradicted by the Cathedral Parish of Turku. However, the Board let the relic be relocated in the Cathedral of Saint Henry in Helsinki, the oldest church in the modern Catholic Diocese of Finland. Since then, it has been located inside the altar of the cathedral. After a public controversy, it is currently planned to be returned to Turku during 2007. Also its authenticity is going to be examined. [ [http://www.hs.fi/kotimaa/artikkeli/Piispa+Henrikin+pyh%C3%A4inj%C3%A4%C3%A4nn%C3%B6kset+tutkittaviksi+Turkuun/1135224461668 Article in Helsingin Sanomat 21.01.2007.] ]

In 1924, several other bones, including a jawless skull, were found in a sealed closet in the Cathedral of Turku. These are also referred to as Henry's relics in popular media and even by the church, even though that designation remains speculative and the bones may have belonged to some other saint. The bones are currently stored in the Cathedral of Turku.See e.g. [http://www.henrikinseurakunta.fi/portal/seurakunnat/henrikinseurakunta/suomi/ajankohtaista/?id=2556&area=2 news by the Turku and Kaarina parish] . See also [http://www.hs.fi/kulttuuri/artikkeli/Pyh%C3%A4n+Henrikin+p%C3%A4%C3%A4kallo+palasi+Helsingist%C3%A4+Turkuun/1135228187817 article 21.06.2007] .]

Henry's status today

Nousiainen.] Although Henry has never been officially canonized, he has been referred to as a saint since as early as 1296 according to a papal document of the time, and continues to be called as such today as well. [John Paul II's [http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1985/january/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19850107_gruppo-ecumenico_en.html address to the Catholic, Lutheran and Orthodox bishops of Finland] , 7 January 1985. In English.] [John Paul II's letter to Cardinal Joachim Meisner on the [http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/letters/2005/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_20050117_card-meisner_lt.html 850th anniversary of the arrival of Saint Henry, Bishop, and the 50th anniversary of the founding of the diocese of Helsinki] , 17 January 2005. In Latin.] On the basis of the traditional accounts of Henry's death, his recognition as saint took place prior to the founding of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints and the official canonization process of the Roman Catholic Church. Henry is currently commemorated on January 19 on the calendar of commemorations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. [Harvnb|ECLA|2006|p=15.] January 19 is also Henry's name day in Sweden and Finland. [As Heikki, Henrik, Henrikki, Henri. Note that also that the city of Hancock in Michigan, which has a lot of residents of Finnish origins, celebrates "Heikinpaiva" (anglicized Finnish for "Henry's Day") on the same day. See [http://www.cityofhancock.com/event-2007-heik.html] and [http://www.wluctv6.com/Global/story.asp?S=5924074&nav=81AWKojr] .] He continues to be remembered as a local observance in the Catholic Church of Finland, where the cathedral church is dedicated to Henry's memory. [See the Catholic Forum [http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/sainth24.htm Patron Saints Index] for a description of the on-going Roman Catholic recognition of Henry.] The cathedral was consecrated in 1860 and is headed by Msgr. Marino Trevisini. [ [http://henrik.catholic.fi/ Official www site of the Catholic Diocese of Helsinki] .]

The Kirkkokari island in Lake Köyliönjärvi remains the only Catholic place of pilgrimage in Finland, with a memorial service held every year on second Sunday in June before the Midsummer festival. Also the medieval 140 km countryside route from Köyliö to Nousiainen has been marked all the way for people willing to walk through it. [ [http://www.koylio.fi/the_yeoman_lalli.htm Information about the pilgrimage by the municipality of Köyliö] .] Association of "Ecumenical pilgrimage of St. Henry" has been organized around the event. [ [http://www.henrikin.fi/sthenrik/index.html Ecumenical pilgrimage of St. Henry] .]

Based on folk traditions about the bishop's activities, the municipalities of Nousiainen, Köyliö and Kokemäki use images from Henry's legend in their coats of arms. [ [http://www.kunnat.net/k_perussivu.asp?path=1;29;341;486;84531;84548 Nousiainen] , [http://www.kunnat.net/k_perussivu.asp?path=1;29;341;486;84531;84544 Köyliö and Kokemäki] coats of arms with descriptions. Maintained by "Suomen Kuntaliitto".]

Today, Henry and his alleged murderer Lalli remain two of the best-known persons from the mediaeval history of Finland. [Harvnb|Klinge|1998|p=.]

Notes and references


*Harvard reference|Surname=Agricola|Given=Mikael|Authorlink=|Year=1987|Title=Mikael Agricolan teokset 1|Place=|Publisher=|ID=ISBN 951-0-13900-9|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Andresen|Given=Lembit|Authorlink=|Year=1997 (2002)|Title=Eesti Ajalugu I–II. 1997. History of Estonia, AS BIT 2000, 2002|Place=|Publisher=|ID=ISBN 9985-2-0606-1|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Delehaye|Given=Hippolyte|Authorlink=|Year=1955|Title=Les légendes hagiographiques. Quatrième édition. Subsidia hagiographica n:o 18A|Place=Bruxelles|Publisher=|ID=|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=ECLA|Given=|Authorlink=|Year=2006|Title=Evangelical Lutheran Worship|Place=Minneapolis|Publisher=Augsburg Fortress|ID=ISBN 951-746-441-X|URL=http://www.augsburgfortress.org/store/itemseries.jsp?clsid=179999&categoryID=3060|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Heikkilä|Given=Tuomas|Authorlink=|Year=2005|Title=Pyhän Henrikin Legenda|Place=|Publisher=SKS|ID=ISBN 951-746-738-9|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Juva|Given=Einar W.|Authorlink=|Year=1964|Title=Suomen kansan historia I. Esihistoria ja keskiaika|Place=|Publisher=Otava|ID=|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Kari|Given=Risto|Authorlink=|Year=2004|Title=Suomalaisten keskiaika|Place=|Publisher=WSOY|ID=ISBN 951-0-28321-5|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Klinge|Given=Matti|Authorlink=|Year=1998|Title=Suomen kansallisbiografia|Place=Helsinki|Publisher=Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura|ID=ISBN 951-746-441-X|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Linna|Given=Martti|Authorlink=|Year=1989|Title=Suomen varhaiskeskiajan lähteitä|Place=|Publisher=Gummerus kirjapaino Oy|ID=ISBN 951-96006-1-2|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Linna|Given=Martti|Authorlink=|Year=1996|Title=Suomen alueellinen pyhimyskultti ja vanhemmat aluejaot. Vesilahti 1346–1996. Edited by Helena Honka-Hallila|Place=Jyväskylä|Publisher=|ID=|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Lähteenmäki|Given=Eino|Authorlink=|Year=1946|Title=Minkä mitäkin Vesilahden kirkon syntyvaiheista|Place=Vesilahti|Publisher=Vesilahden seurakunta|ID=|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Nygren|Given=Ernst|Authorlink=|Year=1953|Title=Svenskt Biografiskt Lexikon|Place=Stockholm|Publisher=|ID=|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Paulsson|Given=Göte|Authorlink=|Year=1974|Title=Annales suecici medii aevi|Place=|Publisher=Bibliotheca historica Lundensis XXXII|ID=|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Purhonen|Given=Paula|Authorlink=|Year=1998|Title=Kristinuskon saapumisesta Suomeen|Place=|Publisher=Vammalan Kirjapaino Oy|ID=ISBN 951-9057-31-5|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Rebane|Given=Peep Peeter|Authorlink=|Year=2001|Title=From Fulco to Theoderic: The Changing Face of Livonian Mission — Andres Andresen (ed.), Muinasaja loojangust omariikluse lävele: Pühendusteos Sulev Vahtre 75. sünnipäevaks|Place=Tartu |Publisher=Kleio|ID=|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Rebane|Given=Peep Peeter|Authorlink=|Year=1989|Title=Denmark, the Papacy and the Christianization of Estonia — Michele Maccarrone (ed.), Gli Inizi del Cristianesimo in Livonia-Lettonia: Atti del Colloque internazionale di storia ecclesiastica in occasione dell'VIII centenario della Chiesa in Livonia (1186–1986), Roma 24–25 giugno 1986. Città del Vaticano|Place=|Publisher=|ID=|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Schmidt|Given=Toni|Authorlink=|Year=1934|Title=Sverige's kristnande|Place=Uppsala|Publisher=|ID=|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Suvanto|Given=Seppo|Authorlink=|Year=1973|Title=Satakunnan historia. III : Keskiaika|Place=|Publisher=|ID=ISBN 951-95095-0-X|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Werner|Given=Joachim|Authorlink=|Year=1958|Title=Kirmukarmu — Monza — Roes — Vendel XIV. (SM 65)|Place=|Publisher=|ID=|URL=|
*Harvard reference|Surname=Åsbrink|Given=Gustav|Authorlink=|Year=1935|Title=Svea Rikes Ärkebiskopar|Place=Uppsala|Publisher=|ID=|URL=|

External links

NAME= Bishop Henry
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Saint Henry, Henry of Finland, Henry of Uppsala, Henry of Sweden
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Christian saint, bishop, and martyr
DATE OF DEATH= ca. January 20, 1150
PLACE OF DEATH= Köyliö in Finland

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