Saint Magnus of Orkney


Saint Magnus of Orkney was a Viking earl who converted to Christianity and became a patron of the Church in Orkney. He was killed by his pagan cousin Haakon Paulsson in 1117.

Here are some interesting facts about Saint Magnus of Orkney:

  • He was the first Viking earl to convert to Christianity.
  • He was a skilled diplomat and negotiator, and he helped to bring peace and prosperity to Orkney.
  • He was a generous patron of the Church, and he founded many churches and monasteries in Orkney.
  • He was known for his piety and gentleness, and he was even reluctant to fight in Viking raids.
  • He was murdered by his own cousin, Haakon Paulsson, who was jealous of his popularity and power.

After his death, Magnus was buried in Birsay, Orkney. His tomb soon became a place of pilgrimage, and many miracles were reported to have occurred there. In 1136, Magnus was canonized by Pope Innocent II.

St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, Orkney, is dedicated to Saint Magnus. It is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Scotland.

Saint Magnus is the patron saint of Orkney, and his feast day is celebrated on September 6th.

Here are some additional interesting facts about Saint Magnus:

  • He is often depicted in art with a sword in one hand and a book in the other, symbolizing his dual role as a warrior and a peacemaker.
  • He is also sometimes depicted with a crown of thorns, symbolizing his martyrdom.
  • The Orkneyinga Saga, a medieval Icelandic saga, tells the story of Saint Magnus's life and death.
  • Saint Magnus is a popular figure in Orkney folklore, and there are many stories and legends about him.

Saint Magnus is a reminder that even in the most difficult of circumstances, it is possible to live a life of faith and compassion. He is also a reminder that violence is never the answer, and that peace and reconciliation are always possible.