Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Contradict, Hebrews 4:12-16, Psalms 19:8-15, Mark 2:13-17, St Henry, Uppsala Sweden, Catholic Catechism Chapter 2:3-III The Holy Spirit, Interpreter of Scripture

Saturday, January 19, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Contradict, Hebrews 4:12-16,  Psalms 19:8-15,  Mark 2:13-17, St Henry, Uppsala Sweden, Catholic Catechism Chapter 2:3-III The Holy Spirit, Interpreter of Scripture

Good Day Bloggers!  Happy New Year, Bonne Annee!
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


January 02, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
 "Dear children, with much love and patience I strive to make your hearts like unto mine. I strive, by my example, to teach you humility, wisdom and love because I need you; I cannot do without you my children. According to God's will I am choosing you, by His strength I am strengthening you. Therefore, my children, do not be afraid to open your hearts to me. I will give them to my Son and in return, He will give you the gift of Divine peace. You will carry it to all those whom you meet, you will witness God's love with your life and you will give the gift of my Son through yourselves. Through reconciliation, fasting and prayer, I will lead you. Immeasurable is my love. Do not be afraid. My children, pray for the shepherds. May your lips be shut to every judgment, because do not forget that my Son has chosen them and only He has the right to judge. Thank you."

December 25, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
Our Lady came with little Jesus in her arms and she did not give a message, but little Jesus began to speak and said : “I am your peace, live my commandments.” With a sign of the cross, Our Lady and little Jesus blessed us together.

December 2, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
Dear children, with motherly love and motherly patience anew I call you to live according to my Son, to spread His peace and His love, so that, as my apostles, you may accept God's truth with all your heart and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you. Then you will be able to faithfully serve my Son, and show His love to others with your life. According to the love of my Son and my love, as a mother, I strive to bring all of my strayed children into my motherly embrace and to show them the way of faith. My children, help me in my motherly battle and pray with me that sinners may become aware of their sins and repent sincerely. Pray also for those whom my Son has chosen and consecrated in His name. Thank you." 


Today's Word:  contradict   con·tra·dict  [kon-truh-dikt]

Origin: 1560–70;  < Latin contrādictus  (past participle of contrādīcere  to gainsay), equivalent to contrā- contra- 1  + dic-  (variant stem of dīcere  to speak) + -tus  past participle suffix 

verb (used with object)
1. to assert the contrary or opposite of; deny directly and categorically.
2. to speak contrary to the assertions of: to contradict oneself.
3. (of an action or event) to imply a denial of: His way of life contradicts his stated principles.
4. Obsolete . to speak or declare against; oppose.
verb (used without object)
5. to utter a contrary statement.


Today's Old Testament Reading - Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 15

8 The precepts of Yahweh are honest, joy for the heart; the commandment of Yahweh is pure, light for the eyes.
9 The fear of Yahweh is pure, lasting for ever; the judgements of Yahweh are true, upright, every one,
10 more desirable than gold, even than the finest gold; his words are sweeter than honey, that drips from the comb.


Today's Epistle -   Hebrews 4:12-16

12 The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts more incisively than any two-edged sword: it can seek out the place where soul is divided from spirit, or joints from marrow; it can pass judgement on secret emotions and thoughts.
13 No created thing is hidden from him; everything is uncovered and stretched fully open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves.
14 Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must hold firm to our profession of faith.
15 For the high priest we have is not incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us, but has been put to the test in exactly the same way as ourselves, apart from sin.
16 Let us, then, have no fear in approaching the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace when we are in need of help.


Today's Gospel Reading  - Mark 2,13-17

He went out again to the shore of the lake; and all the people came to him, and he taught them. As he was walking along he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, 'Follow me.' And he got up and followed him. When Jesus was at dinner in his house, a number of tax collectors and sinners were also sitting at table with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many of them among his followers. When the scribes of the Pharisee party saw him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, 'Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?' When Jesus heard this he said to them, 'It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. I came to call not the upright, but sinners.'

• In yesterday’s Gospel, we have seen the first conflict which arose concerning the forgiveness of sins (Mk 2, 1-12). In today’s Gospel we meditate on the second conflict which arose when Jesus sat at table with the sinners (Mk 2, 13-17). In the years 70’s, the time when Mark wrote, in the communities there was a conflict between Christians who had been converted from Paganism and those from Judaism. Those from Judaism found great difficult to enter into the house of converted Pagans and to sit with them around the same table (cf. Acts 10, 28; 11, 3). In describing how Jesus faces this conflict, Mark orientates the community to solve the problem.

• Jesus taught, and the people were happy to listen to him. Jesus goes out again to go near the sea. People arrive and he begins to teach them. He transmits the Word of God. In Mark’s Gospel, the beginning of the activity of Jesus is characterized by much teaching and much acceptance on the part of the people (Mk 1, 14.21.38-39; 2, 2.13), in spite of the conflicts with religious authority. What did Jesus teach? Jesus proclaimed the Good News of God (Mk 1, 14). He spoke about God, but he spoke in a new way, different. He spoke starting from his experience, of the experience which he himself had of God and of Life. Jesus lived in God. And surely he had touched the heart of the people who liked to listen to him (Mk 1, 22.27). God, instead of being a severe Jew who threatens from far, at a distance, with punishment and hell, becomes once again, a friendly presence, a Good News for the people.

• Jesus calls a sinner to be a disciple and invites him to eat in his house. Jesus calls Levi, a tax collector, and he, immediately, leaves everything and follows Jesus. He begins to be part of the group of the disciples. Immediately, the text says literally: While Jesus was at table in his house. Some think that in his house means the house of Levi. But the most probable translation is that it was a question of the house of Jesus. It is Jesus who invites all to eat in his house: sinners and tax collectors, together with the disciples.

• Jesus has come not for the just, but for sinners. This gesture or act of Jesus causes the religious authority to get very angry. It was forbidden to sit at table with tax collectors and sinners, because to sit at table with someone meant that he was considered a brother! Instead of speaking directly with Jesus, the Scribes of the Pharisees speak with the disciples: How is it that he eats and drinks together with tax collectors and sinners? Jesus responds: “It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. I came to call not the upright, but sinners! As before with the disciples (Mk 1, 38), now also, it is the conscience of his mission which helps Jesus to find the response and to indicate the way for the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus.

Personal questions  
• Jesus calls a sinner, a tax collector, a person hated by the people, to be his disciple. Which is the message for us in this act of Jesus, of the Catholic Church?

• Jesus says that he has come to call sinners. Are there laws and customs in our Church which prevent sinners to have access to Jesus? What can we do to change these laws and these customs?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Henry of Uppsala

Feast DayJanuary 19
Patron Saint: n/a

Saint Henry (pyhä Henrik or piispa Henrik in Finnish, Biskop Henrik or Sankt Henrik in Swedish, Henricus in Latin; died allegedly 20 January circa 1156) was a medieval English clergyman. He came to Sweden with cardinal Nicholas Breakspeare in 1153 and was probably designated to the new Archbishop of Uppsala, but the independent church province of Sweden could be established only 1164 after the civil war was over, and Henry would have been sent to organize the Church in Finland, where Christians had existed already at least two centuries. 

According to legends, he entered 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

Bishop Henry surrounded by his successors as depicted in Missale Aboense.
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.

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 which became a conventional claim later on, also by the church itself. 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.

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:
  1. The murderer lost his scalp when he put the bishop's hat on his head
  2. The Bishop's finger was found the next Spring
  3. A boy was raised from the dead in Kaisala
  4. A girl was raised from the dead in Vehmaa
  5. A sick woman was healed in Sastamala
  6. A Franciscan called Erlend had his headache healed
  7. A blind woman got back her eyesight in Kyrö
  8. A man with a paralyzed leg could walk again in Kyrö
  9. A sick girl was healed
  10. A group of fishermen from Kokemäki survived a storm
Most versions of Henry's legend only include a selection of these miracles.

Development of the legend

Cathedral of Turku was the center of Henry's cult.
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. 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.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. 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.

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 bishops of Finland 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.

The first mention of Bishop Henry in historical sources is from 1298, when he is mentioned along with king Eric in a document from a provincial synod of Uppsala in Telge. The first mention of Henry of Uppsala being the patron saint of Turku cathedral is from 14 August 1320, when he is mentioned as the second patron of the cathedral after Virgin Mary.[15] So when he is later addressed by Pope Boniface IX as the patronus of the Cathedral of Turku along with the Virgin Mary, it is actually from the year 1391. Boniface also called him a "saint". In 1291 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. A papal letter by Pope Nicholas IV from 1292 has the Virgin Mary as the sole patronus in Turku. 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, 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.

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. 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 1623 and is generally regarded as a fabrication.


Henry was also venerated in the Cathedral of Lund.
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.

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.

 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.
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:
  1. Totum duplex: Turku, Linköping, Strängnäs
  2. Duplex: Uppsala, Lund (Denmark), Västerås, Växjö
  3. Semiduplex: Nidaros (Norway)
  4. Simplex: Skara[27]
Henry seems to have been known in northern Germany, but he was largely ignored elsewhere in the Roman Catholic world.

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, 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. 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.

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.

Political dimensions

Bishop Henry baptizes the Finns at the spring of Kuppis, a pseudohistorical painting by R. W. Ekman from the 1850s in Turku cathedral.
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. 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.

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.

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). 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.  It has also been suggested that the name might be related to Gaelic, which would presumably have referred to the bishop's Scottish origins, though the legend gives him as a native Englishman. 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.  Kokemäki was later one the central parishes in Satakunta. This province was first mentioned in historical documents in 1331.

Death and burial

Lalli killing Henry. A romanticized drawing from the 19th century.
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. The axe was the murder weapon of Saint Olaf, who was very popular in Finland and may have influenced Henry's legend. 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 depiction of Henry's death built on an independent tradition that was once in direct competition with the "official" version, which is largely forgotten today. It remains unknown whether the two traditions were built around the same person.
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. There is debate on whether the original poem was constructed by one or more individuals. 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.  Extensive borrowing from unrelated Finnish legends from the pre-Christian era has taken place as well, leaving quite little original material left at all.  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. 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.

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. 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, and in the lack of evidence of either the crusade or Henry, that possibility may not be fully denied.  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, Bishop of Estonia in 1219 and Bishop of Linköping in 1220.

Bishop of Uppsala

The Gamla Uppsala Church, the site of the Uppsala bishops and archbishops until 1273.
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.  A certain Henry is mentioned in Incerti scriptoris Sueci chronicon primorum in 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"), Nicolaus and Sweno. 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.

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. It is not known whether this was just an inference by the writer, based on the fact that also Nicholas was an Englishman. 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.[59] 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. Historians from different centuries have also suggested various other years from 1150 to 1158.

Contradicting these claims, the medieval Annales Suecici Medii Aevi and the 13th century legend of Saint Botvid mention some Henry as the Bishop of Uppsala (Henricus scilicet Upsalensis) in 1129, participating in the consecration of the saint's newly built church. 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. 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.

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. 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.

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. Some copies of another papal letter from 1232 call the bishop as "N.",[22] 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. 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.

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. 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.

No surviving list of bishops or dioceses under the Archbishop 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.

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. 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.

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. 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.

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 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. The list of Swedish bishops which survives from this era is from king John Sverkerson's coronation from the year 1219 and it mentions the bishops which have been present at the coronation. Finland as well as Wäxjö are not among those five, which so seem to have been all the bishops of the Swedish realm at that time. So the Finnish bishop's possible position under Uppsala's primacy is highly improbable.

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. However, according to the papal letter Ex tuarum no such gap has ever existed, since the archbishop of Lund was given the right to anoint a new bishop to Finland in 1209 after the death of the previous. So the logic and datings of the sixteenth century writers must be esteemed as false. The date 1209 is far too early for a Dominican like Thomas to step in to the office, and so Rodolphus, the first real bishop of Finland and his successor Folquinus must be considered as 13th century bishops nominated and appointed by the Danish and not by the Swedes. As an extra proof of this the ancient Finnish taxation system of church taxes has its roots in Denmark, not in Sweden. And the same goes to lay taxes especially in the Åland Islands and to the old Finnish monetary system. As J. W. Ruuth already nearly a hundred years ago pointed out, Finland was at that time a Danish and not a Swedish mission territory, where the Danes according to the Danish annals made there expeditions in 1191, 1202 and possible even 1210



Henry's (empty) sarcophagus in the church of Nousiainen with depictions of the crusade.
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.[84] In addition to traditions, the only source connecting Nousiainen to early bishops is a letter signed by Bishop Thomas in Nousiainen in 1234. 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.
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. The church was later adorned with a grandiose 15th century cenotaph, whose replica can be found in the National Museum of Finland in Helsinki.
Henry's finger depicted in the seal of Bishopric of Turku from 1618.

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. 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.
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.

Henry's status today

Henry in the modern coat of arms of 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.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.January 19 is also Henry's name day in Sweden and Finland.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. The cathedral was consecrated in 1860 and is headed by Msgr. Marino Trevisini.
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. Association of "Ecumenical pilgrimage of St. Henry" has been organized around the event.
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.
Today, Henry and his alleged murderer Lalli remain two of the best-known persons from the mediaeval history of Finland.


  • Agricola, Mikael (1987), Mikael Agricolan teokset 1, ISBN 951-0-13900-9
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Today's Snippet I:   Uppsala, Sweden

Uppsala (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈɵpːˈsɑːla]; older spelling Upsala) is the capital of Uppsala County and the fourth largest city of Sweden. It had 140,454 inhabitants in 2010.

Located 67 km (44.7 miles) north of the capital Stockholm, it is also the seat of the Uppsala Municipality. Since 1164, Uppsala has been the ecclesiastical centre of Sweden, being the seat of the Archbishop of the Church of Sweden. Founded in 1477, Uppsala Cathedral  dates back to the late 13th century and at a height of 118.7 m is the tallest church building in Scandinavia. Originally built under Roman Catholicism and used for coronations of the Swedish monarch, since the Protestant Reformation, it has been controlled by the Lutheran Church of Sweden. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Uppsala, the primate of Sweden. 
Uppsala University  is a research university in Uppsala, Sweden, and is the oldest university in Sweden, founded in 1477. It ranks among the best universities in Northern Europe in international rankings and is generally considered one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in Europe.

The university rose to pronounced significance during the rise of Sweden as a great power at the end of the 16th century and was then given a relative financial stability with the large donation of King Gustavus Adolphus in the early 17th century. Uppsala also has an important historical place in Swedish national culture, identity and for the Swedish establishment: in historiography, literature, politics, and music. Many aspects of Swedish academic culture in general, such as the white student cap, originated in Uppsala. It shares some peculiarities, such as the student nation system, with Lund University and the University of Helsinki.

Uppsala belongs to the Coimbra Group of European universities. The university has nine faculties distributed over three 'disciplinary domains'. It has about 23 000 full-time students, and about 2,200 doctoral students. It has a teaching staff of 4,000 (part-time and full-time) out of a total of 6,000 employees. Of its annual turnover of around 5,2 billion SEK (approx. 779 million USD), approximately 60% goes to graduate studies and research.

Architecturally, Uppsala University has traditionally had a strong presence in the area around the cathedral on the western side of the River Fyris. Despite some more contemporary building developments further away from the centre, Uppsala's historic centre continues to be dominated by the presence of the university.


Uppsala in the 18th century
Uppsala was originally located a few kilometres to the north, at a location now known as Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala). Today's Uppsala was then called Östra Aros. (Old) Uppsala was, according to medieval writer Adam of Bremen, the main pagan centre of Sweden, and the Temple at Uppsala contained magnificent idols of the Æsir gods.

As a replacement for the Scandinavian gods, Uppsala was made into a strong Christian centre. A bishop was soon consecrated, and in 1164 Uppsala was made into an archdiocese, with Stefan, a monk from Alvastra Abbey, being consecrated the first Archbishop of Uppsala and primate of Sweden.

The present-day Uppsala was at that time known as Östra Aros and was a port town of Gamla Uppsala. In 1274, Östra Aros overtook Gamla Uppsala as the main regional centre, and when the cathedral of Gamla Uppsala burnt down, the archbishopric was moved to Östra Aros, where the impressive Uppsala Cathedral was erected; it was inaugurated in 1435. The cathedral is built in the Gothic style and is one of the largest in northern Europe, with towers reaching 118.70 metres.

Uppsala is the site of the oldest university in Scandinavia, founded in 1477. Carolus Linnaeus, one of the renowned scholars of Uppsala University, lived in the city for many years, and both his house and garden can still be visited. Uppsala is also the site of the 16th century Uppsala Castle. The city was severely damaged by a fire in 1702. Historical and cultural treasures were also lost, as in many Swedish cities, from demolitions during the 1960s and 1970s, but many historic buildings remain, especially in the western part of the city. The arms with the lion can be traced from 1737. It has been modernized several times since, most recently in 1986. The meaning of the lion is not certain but is likely connected to the royal lion, also depicted on the Coat of Arms of Sweden.


Stora Torget (town square), the building in the background is the Nordbankshuset
Situated on the fertile Uppsala flatlands of muddy soil, the city features the small Fyris River (Fyrisån) flowing through the landscape surrounded by lush vegetation. Parallel to the river runs the glacial ridge of Uppsalaåsen at an elevation of circa 30 metres, the site of Uppsala's castle, from which large parts of the town can be seen. The central park Stadsskogen (literally "Town Forest") stretches from the south far into town, with opportunities for recreation for many residential areas within walking distance.

Only some 70 km (43 mi) or 40 minutes by train from the capital, many Uppsala residents work in Stockholm. The train to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport takes only 17 minutes, rendering the city easily accessible by air.

The commercial centre of Uppsala is quite compact. The city has a distinct town and gown divide with clergy, royalty and academia historically residing on the river's western shore, somewhat separated from the rest of the city, and the ensemble of cathedral, castle and university buildings has remained mostly undisturbed until today. While some beautiful buildings remain on the periphery of the central core, retail commercial activity is geographically focused on a small number of blocks around the pedestrianized streets and main square on the eastern side of the river, an area that was subject to a large-scale metamorphosis during the economically booming years in the 1960s in particular. During recent decades, a significant part of retail commercial activity has shifted to shopping malls and stores situated in the outskirts of the city. Meanwhile, the built-up areas have expanded greatly, and some suburbanization has taken place.

Main sights

 Botanical Garden founded by Carl Linnaeus.
The Fyris river (Fyrisån) neatly divides the city into two different parts: the historic quarter to the west of the river and the administrative, residential and commercial area to the east. Most of the features of interest are in the western part, dominated by the cathedral, and with its old streets, river views and parks.

The most outstanding building in Uppsala is the Domkyrka (Uppsala Cathedral), Scandinavia's largest church (118.70 m (389.44 ft) high), which is visible from most parts of town and from the motorway.

Facing the west end of the cathedral is the Gustavianum, built in 1625 to be the main building of the University, and served as such through most of the 19th century. It contains the Museum of Nordic Antiquities, the Victoria Museum (of Egyptian antiquities) and the University's cultural history collections.

It also houses a perfectly preserved 17th-century anatomical theatre (used in its time for public dissections). Across the street from the Gustavianum stands the new main building of the university, erected in 1879–86 in Italian renaissance style. The Uppsala University Coin Cabinet is located in the university main building.

Not far from the University stands the Uppsala University Library (Carolina Rediviva), the largest library in Sweden, with over 5 million volumes and some 60,000 manuscripts. The building was built in 1820–1841.

On a circa 35-metre high hill to the southwest of the University Library stands Uppsala Castle. Its construction was initiated in 1549 by King Gustav Vasa, founder of the Vasa royal dynasty. Today the castle holds several museums, and is the residence of the Governor (landshövding).

5 km north of Uppsala city lies Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala), the location of the pre Christian town Uppsala. There are few remains, with the exception of several huge burial mounds of pre-Christian monarchs and the previous cathedral from 1164 A.D., traditionally said to be built over the old heathen temple (and recent archaeological investigations seems to support this notion). After the church burned down around 1240 only parts of it were restored.


    • William Coxe (1785), "Upsala", Travels into Poland, Russia, Sweden and Denmark (2nd ed.), London: Printed for T. Cadell
    • "Upsala", Norway, Sweden, and Denmark (8th ed.), Leipsic: Karl Baedeker, 1903


    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part One: Profession of Faith, Chapter 2:3-III

    Article 3
    III. The Holy Spirit, Interpreter of Scripture

    109 In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly, the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to what God wanted to reveal to us by their words.DV 12 # 1

    110 In order to discover the sacred authors' intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. "For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression."DV 12 #2

    111 But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle of correct interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. "Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written."DV 12 #3

    The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it.DV 12 #4

    112 Be especially attentive "to the content and unity of the whole Scripture". Different as the books which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God's plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover.Lk 24:25-27, 44-46

    The phrase "heart of Christ" can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known his heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.St. Thomas Aquinas, Expos. in Ps. 21, 11; cf. Ps 22:14

    113 2. Read the Scripture within "the living Tradition of the whole Church". According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church's heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God's Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (". . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church"Origen, Hom. in Lev. 5, 5: PG 12, 454D).

    114 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith.Rom 12:6 By "analogy of faith" we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.

    The senses of Scripture

    115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. the profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.

    116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal."St. Thomas Aquinas, S Th I, 1, 10, ad I

    117 The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God's plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.

    1. the allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ's victory and also of Christian Baptism.Cf. I Cor 10:2

    2. the moral sense. the events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written "for our instruction".I Cor 10:11; cf. Heb 3:1 - 4:11

    3. the anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, "leading"). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.Cf. Rev 21:1 - 22:5

    118 A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses:
    The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith;
    The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.Lettera gesta docet, quid credas allegoria, moralis quid agas, tendas anagogia.

    119 "It is the task of exegetes to work, according to these rules, towards a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their research may help the Church to form a firmer judgement. For, of course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God."DV 12 # 3

    But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me.St. Augustine, Contra epistolam Manichaei 5, 6: PL 42, 176