A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Saint Ingrid of Skänninge (d1282). Roman Catholic Feast Day for the noble Swedish Abbess from the southern province of Östergötland who lived under the direction of a Dominican priest. After the death of her husband in 1271, Ingrid became the first Dominican nun in Sweden and in 1272, with her sister Kristina and a circle of pious females, founded an informal convent that after Kristina’s death became in 1281 the first Swedish Dominican nunnery at Skänninge Abbey, briefly known as St Martin’s Priory and then as St Ingrid’s Priory. Ingrid led an ascetic life of mystic revelations and, after her death and burial in Skänninge on 9 September 1282, her miraculous remains became objects of veneration and pilgrimage, making the Priory rich and famous. Following the first phase of the Swedish Reformation, when Catholic convents were confiscated by the crown and banned from accepting new novices, in 1531 the king demanded that the Skänninge nuns move the 15 km to the 1346 Vadstena Abbey but they refused. However, in 1544 Skänninge Abbey was closed and Ingrid’s remains were translated to Vadstena Abbey. In 1645 the skull was stolen, under the mistaken impression that it was that of Ingrid’s niece St Bridget of Sweden. It was taken to the church in Courson-les-Carrières 100 miles south-east of Paris. In 1959 it was given to to the 1435 Bridgettine Abbey of Mary’s Refuge (Maria Refugie) in Uden, The Netherlands, where it was exhibited as the skull of Bridget. Venerated in Roman Catholic Church, Church of Sweden. Major shrine Skänninge Abbey, excavated in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Image: xhiandiary.home.blog.
Hannah, Matriarch (Anna) (Eleventh Century BCE). Lutheran Commemoration of the first wife of the polygamous Elkanah (אֱלְקָנָה), an Ephraimite whom the Talmud lists as a prophet and who commiserated with Hannah over her barrenness as she waited and prayed patiently to God for a child, at the major shrine of Shiloh 50 km north of Jerusalem. She was rewarded when she was one hundred and thirty years old, having vowed that if God would grant her a male child she would give that child back to God after weaning him. She took the child to Eli, the priest at Shiloh, for his religious training and he grew up to be the Jewish judge Samuel. Image: myjewishlearning.com.
Prayer Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; my strength is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation. Talk no more so very proudly; let no arrogance come from your mouth, for the Lord is the God of knowledge; and by Him actions are weighed.” Amen
Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig (1783-1872). Lutheran Commemoration of the death in Copenhagen on 2 September 1872 of the thrice-married Danish pastor, a renewer of church, teacher, author, poet, philosopher, historian and politician born in Udby, Zealand 90 km south of Copenhagen. He was active during the Danish Golden Age and refused to take the civil oath denying his faith. His 1805 first work, On the Songs in the Edda, attracted no attention but his 1808 Northern Mythology and 1809 The Fall of the Heroic Life in the North were successful. Grundtvig went on to explore the extensive literature of the Anglo-Saxons that survived in Old English and Latin, which in both poetry and prose revealed the spirituality of the early Church in Northern Europe. His style of writing and fields of reference are not immediately accessible in other languages and so his international importance does not match that of his contemporary Hans Christian Andersen. Grundtvig is honoured with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on 8 September. Image: quidplura.com.