Ansgar was born of a noble family near Amiens. He became a monk at Old Corbie monastery in Picardy and later at New Corbie in Westphalia. He accompanied King Harold to Denmark when the exiled King returned to his native land and engaged in missionary work there. Ansgar's success caused King Bjorn of Sweden to invite him to that country, and he built the first Christian Church in Sweden. He became Abbot of New Corbie and first Archbishop of Hamburg about 831, and Pope Gregory IV appointed him Legate to the Scandinavian countries. He labored at his missionary works for the next fourteen years but saw all he had accomplished destroyed when invading pagan Northmen in 845 destroyed Hamburg and overran the Scandinavian countries, which lapsed into paganism. He was appointed first Archbishop of Bremen about 848, and the See was united with that of Hamburg by Pope Nicholas I. Ansgar again returned to Denmark and Sweden in 854 and resumed his missionary activities, converting Erik, King of Jutland. Ansgar's success was due to his great preaching ability, the austerity and holiness of his life, and the miracles he is reputed to have performed. Though called "the Apostle of the North" and the first Christian missionary in Scandinavia, the whole area lapsed into paganism again after his death at Bremen on February 3rd. His name is also spelled Anskar.
St. Bernardino Realino was born into a noble family of Capri, Italy in 1530. After receiving a thorough and devout Christian education at the hands of his mother, he went on to study medicine at the ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Dymphna was fourteen when her mother died. Damon is said to have been afflicted with a mental illness, brought on by his grief. He sent messengers throughout his town and other lands to find some woman of noble birth, resembling his wife, who would be willing to marry ... 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
Lazarus is the poor man at the gate of the rich man in Christ's parable related in Luke. (Luke 16:19-31) His name was perpetuated in the Middle Ages by such words as Lazaretto (hospital), Lazarone (a ... 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