Postcard from Oslo, Norway, St.Hallvard

Oslo, Postcards from Oslo, Norway, Travel, Norway

St. Hallvard the patron saint of Oslo

Hallvard Vebjørnsson later known as St. Hallvard.

Little is known of his life, and all traditional stories relate to his death near Drammen. Although the exact year and place of birth are unknown, he is commonly believed to have been born around 1020. His parents were wealthy farmers and owned the farm Husaby in Lier. His mother, Torny Gudbrandsdatter, was reportedly related to St. Olaf, the patron saint of Norway. It is said that she was the daughter of Gudbrand Kula from Oppland who was also the father of Åsta Gudbrandsdatter, St. Olaf’s mother.

Oslos seal

The St. Hallvards story goes that St. Hallvard was killed trying to rescue a pregnant young thrall woman. She was accused of thievery and was being pursued by three men when Hallvard took her into his boat and made to escape. He shouldn`t have been bothered, but Hallvard was kind and just and risked his life to save the girl. The attackers caught up with them, and Hallvard was killed by an arrow through the throat. The girl was killed and buried by the shore. In order to hide the murder of Hallvard, his body was tied to a millstone and dropped in the sea. But when the body still attached to the stone rose to the surface, people began to worship him as a saint.

The date of his death the 15th of May 1023 is marked as St.Hallvards day. He appears on the city seal with the girl at his feet.  Originally buried in Lier, the saint’s body was later moved to the high altar of St. Hallvard Cathedral. St. Hallvard has been recorded in the city’s seal since the Middle Ages. 

 

 

 

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