Ansgar was born in September of 801 A.D. Orphaned at a very young age, he grew up among the Benedictine monks near Corbie, France. Throughout his life he was known for his holiness and asceticism.
When he was old enough, he joined the order and began preaching to the Danes. This task ended in the missionary’s expulsion from the country along with the Christian king, due to the king’s zealous impatience to convert his people.
Ansgar, however, did not return to his abbey. He went north to Sweden and began preaching there. He had toiled only a year and a half among the Swedes when he was appointed the Bishop of Hamburg and papal legate to the northern nations. He was only thirty years old when these appointments were conferred on him.
Ansgar ministered to his diocese for fourteen years. In 845, however, the pagan king Eric of Jutland sailed to Hamburg and destroyed the city.
The bishop was forced to flee; but instead of fleeing from danger, he went straight to Denmark and Sweden and began preaching again. Eventually, King Eric ceased acting hostile and allowed Ansgar to bring missionary priests to Denmark and Jutland.
Ansgar’s work in the northern countries flourished, bringing churches, hospitals, and schools to the region of fjords. His only sorrow was that he had not gained a martyr’s crown.
St. Ansgar spent his life traveling, probably on foot and certainly with a long beard. He didn’t have the luxury of a personalized toiletry bag, but you can be sure that St. Christopher watched over Ansgar in his travels. Whenever you travel, invoke the intercession of Sts. Christopher and Ansgar, reminding yourself of their prayers with a Personalized St. Christopher Waxed Canvas Dopp Kit. Durable, handy, and masculine, this dopp kit is finished with a brass St. Christopher medal. Get prepared for that trip today!