Anskar, also known by his Latin name Ansgarius, was born in 801 near Amiens. He was educated and professed as a monk in the nearby monastery of Corbie.
Anskar was in Correy, Westphalia, when King Harold of Denmark asked for a Christian evangelist for his people. Harold had been in exile and during that time had been converted to Christianity. Anskar agreed to accompany him and in 826 became a missionary to the Danish people. A few years later he made a missionary journey to Sweden. In Anskar he was consecrated bishop of Hamburg. After the Vikings sacked Hamburg in 845, the pope made Anskar archbishop of Hamburg and Bremen and gave him also some responsibilities for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
Anskar devoted his energies to founding schools and preaching and was famous for his great charity to the poor. He attacked the slave-trade of the Vikings, but was unable to end it. Anskar was not very successful in Sweden, which soon reverted to paganism, until the eleventh century. His greatest achievements were in Denmark (of which country he is the patron saint) and in northern Germany. Even so, Anskar saw no real harvest of his labours in his own day. He died in Bremen in 865 and was buried there.
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February 3 - St Anskar
February 2 - Candlemas
February 1 - St Brigid of Ireland
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January 29 - 4th Sunday of the Epiphany
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