Portal:Saints/Selected biography/17

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Henry walking on his murderer. Painting from the Church of Taivassalo about 1450

Saint Henry (pyhä Henrik or piispa Henrik in Finnish, Biskop Henrik or Sankt Henrik in Swedish, Henricus et cetera in Latin; died allegedly 20 January circa 1150[1]) was a medieval Swedish clergyman. According to legends, he conquered Finland together with King Eric the Saint of Sweden and died as a martyr, becoming a central figure in the local Roman Catholic Church. However, the authenticity of the accounts of his life, ministry, and death are widely disputed. Although Henry has never been officially canonized, he has been referred to as a saint since as early as 1296 according to a papal document of the time, and continues to be called as such today as well. Henry is currently commemorated on 19 January on the calendar of commemorations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. 19 January is also Henry's name day in Sweden and Finland. He continues to be remembered as a local observance in the Roman Catholic Church of Finland, where the cathedral church is dedicated to Henry's memory. Together with his alleged murderer Lalli, Henry remains one of the most recognized people from the early history of Finland. His feast continues to be celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church of Finland, and he is commemorated in several Protestant liturgical calendars.

  1. ^ Heikkilä 2005, pp. 55–62.