Anskar, Bishop and Missionary, 865
Keep your church from discouragement in the day of small things, O God, in the knowledge that when you have begun a good work, you will bring it to a fruitful conclusion, just as you did for your servant Anskar; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Anskar (in Latin, Ansgarius) was a monk of a Saxon family, born in Corbie, France, in 801 (the year after the crowning of Charlemagne). In 826, when King Harald of Denmark asked Charlemagne's successors for missionaries, Anskar led a group to Denmark, and a few years later to Sweden. Because of unsettled political conditions, his work ran into difficulties, and Anskar withdrew into Germany, where he served as first Archbishop of Hamburg. Later, however, he helped to consecrate Gotbert, the first bishop of Sweden. The Church of Sweden honors him as its apostle, and he serves as a symbol of the historic friendship and present-day connection between the Anglican Churches and the Church of Sweden. *