St. Ansgar, Bishop of Hamburg & Bremen (+February 3, 865)
Commemorated February 3 (date of repose)
"Apostle of the North" and "Enlightener of Denmark and Sweden"
Also known as Oscar, Anskar, Anschar
St. Ansgar was born in Amiens and reposed in Bremen in 865. For a period of time, he resided with the baptized Danish king Harald Klak. St. Ansgar was appointed a missionary by the Swedish king Bjorn when Louis the Pious at Worms in 829 requested by two representatives from Sweden. He arrived at Birka in 829, with his aide friar Witmar, and a small congregation was formed in 831, which included the king's own steward Hergeir. The see of Hamburg was designated a "Mission to bring Christianity to the North," and so St. Ansgar became known as the Apostle of the North. A statue dedicated to him stands in Hamburg, and a stone cross at Birka.