Olaf was the son of Harold Grenske, a lord in Norway. Olaf Haraldsson, often called "the Fat", spent his youth as a pirate. He was baptized in Rouen, and in 1013, went to England to aid King Ethelred against the Danes. He returned to Norway in 1015, captured most of Norway back from the Danes and Swedes, defeated Earl Sweyn at the battle of Nesjar in 1016, and became king. He set about unifying and Christianizing his realm, but the harshness of his rule precipitated a revolt of the nobles in 1029, and aided by Canute of Denmark, they defeated him and forced him to flee to Russia. He returned in 1030 and attempted to recover his kingdom, but was slain at the Battle of Stiklestad in Norway on July 29th. Though not too popular during his lifetime, miracles were reported at his shrine, and a chapel was built, which became the cathedral of Trondheim; it became a great pilgrimage center for all Scandinavia. He is one of the great heroes of Norway for his efforts to unify and Christianize Norway, of which he is patron. He was canonized in 1164 and his feast day is July 29th.
It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical experiences God gave this saint, rather than on her life. In fact, it would be difficult to do differently, so overwhelming were those gifts from God. ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
- "excerpts taken from Victories of the Martyrs," by St. Alphonsus de Liguori Taken from the Acts of St. Anastasia, who is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, and commemorated by the Church [old calendar] on December 25, St. Anastasia was a spiritual child of St. ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world's most popular saints. Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes