Henry of Uppsala, St.
HENRY OF UPPSALA, ST.
Bishop and martyr, national saint of Finland; d. Köylio, Finland, c. 1156. He is a somewhat enigmatic figure as to date and life, but is believed to have accompanied King eric ix of Sweden on his crusade to Finland, where he converted many pagans. However, remaining behind after the king had returned home, he was killed by a Finnish convert. Reputedly, the murderer put on the bishop's birretum, but when he tried to take it off his flesh adhered to it. This is noted as one of the saint's outstanding miracles. In another legend, extant in only one manuscript, Henry is linked with Nicholas Breakspear, then legate to Scandinavia, who later became Pope adrian iv. The saint's cult spread rapidly in Sweden and Finland, and with the growth of the bridgettine convents it was carried to the European continent. One historia rhythmica, Gaude cetus fidelium, and one Sequence, Cetus noster, are known. His epitaph may be found in Nousis, Finland, where his relics were kept, until they were translated in 1300 to the cathedral in Abo (Tartu). He was canonized in 1158.
Feast: Jan. 19; Jan. 20 (Finland).
Bibliography: a. maliniemi, De S. Henrico episcopo et martyre (Helsinki 1942). j. rinne, Pyhä Henrik (Helsinki 1932). t. schmid, Sveriges kristnande (Stockholm 1934). u. vento, Piispa Henrikin surmavirsi. The Ballad of the Death of Bishop Henry (Helsinki 1967). Analecta hymnica (Leipzig 1886–1922) 26:92–95; 42:217–218. t. borenius, Archaeological Journal 87 (1930) 340–358.