Danish noble, whose cult is confined to Denmark; b. Venning, near Randers, Denmark, c. 1105; d. Viborg, Sept. 27, 1150. After a pious youth Kjeld (Ketillus or Exuperius) became a canon regular at the Cathedral of Our Lady in Viborg, at the urging of Bishop Eskil of Viborg (d. 1132). On completing his studies he became provost of the cathedral, but lost this office because his generosity was considered excessive. Following a trip to Rome (1148–49) he was reinstated by eugene iii. Kjeld had preached the expedition of 1147 against the Wends and was planning to devote himself to the Slavic missions when he died. The Danish bishops, especially Archbishop absalon of lund, sought but failed to obtain his canonization from clement iii. The pope, however, allowed the archbishop to establish Kjeld's cult in his own see on July 11, 1189. Kjeld was venerated especially in Jutland, and was the patron of a guild at Viborg and of a chapel in Viborg's cathedral. His reliquary was burned in 1726.
Feast: July 11.
Bibliography: Vitae sanctorum danorum, ed. m. c. gertz (new ed. Copenhagen 1908–12) 251–283. t. gad in Kulturhistorisk leksikon for nordisk middelalder, ed. j. danstrup (Copenhagen 1956–) 8:435–437. a. otto, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 6:311–312.