Eskil, St.

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Martyr; fl. Sweden, 11th century. He was called Eskillinus by Ailnoth in his Gesta Suenomagni. According to a later legend, Eskil was born in England and was stoned to death in the pagan reaction under King Blotsven for having preached the Christian faith under Blotsven's predecessor. The patron of the Diocese of Strängnäs, Sweden, he had a local cultus, in addition to a cultus among the Bridgettines of other countries. The translation of his relics is observed on Oct. 12; a reliquary preserving an arm of the saint is in the State Historical Museum in Stockholm. Bishop Brynolf Algotsson of Skara (d. 1317, beatified 1492) composed a rhymed history and a sequence in Eskil's honor. The town of Eskils-tuna (Tuna) bears his name, as does the church in which his remains are buried. Eskil is portrayed in art with the stones of his martyrdom.

Feast: June 12 (Northern Europe).

Bibliography: Scriptores rerum Suecicarum, v.2 (Uppsala 1828). Vitae sanctorum Danorum, ed. m. c. gertz (new ed. Copenhagen 190812). Analecta hymnica (Leipzig 18861922) 42:199200; 43:130131. s. lindqvist, Den helige Eskils biskopsdöme (Stockholm 1915). t. schmid, "E., Botvid och David," Scandia 4 (1931) 102114; Sveriges kristnande (Stockholm 1934). c. a. moberg, Über die schwedischen Sequenzen, 2 v. (Uppsala 1927); Die liturgischen Hymnen in Schweden (Copenhagen 1947). l. musset, Les Peuples scandinaves au moyen âge (Paris 1951).

[t. schmid]