Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Odense Cathedral, St. Knud, St. Canute, King. The Sainting Process

Odense Cathedral:  brick Gothic.  It is named for its remains: of King Knud, assassinated in 1086 in the nearby St. Alban's Church, and later sainted.  Both original churches later burned. The Odense Cathedral as it appears now was built in the 1300's, see ://

The story is that Knud, his brother Benedikt and 20 loyal followers, were killed trying to protect the King. Some sources say that Benedikt was a Bishop.  Then why sanctify only the King?  He had  been brutal enough in his rule. But there were sayings and sightings of "miracles" and so the river toward sainthood flowed.  Synchronicity is persuasive, especially when it suits politics, is that so? See again the Galen Frysinger site.

Relics in Saint Knud's Church: brother of King Knud, Benedikt (in some sources, named as a Bishop and not merely a Prince).  Note the plain coffin.

The remains of King Knud.  The remains of the skull rest on a pillow, because of the extensive injuries to it. 

Saint Margret, and an unexplained menorah, also in St. Knud's Church. She began as Regent over territories of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, in successive appointments that enabled her to stay in power and enact many reforms because the child-to-be-king remained a minor. See ://

Why the menorah? In 1492, Queen Isabella and King Philip of Spain ejected the Jewish population, that had lived and prospered under the Muslims for centuries. There had been an arrangement of tax and minimal other restrictions, some oppressive but more tolerant than for Jews in non-Muslim lands at the time. It was Christian IV of Denmark who invited Jews of the merchant and educated classes to come to Denmark. In 1622 this invitation involved many Danish cities, and settle, see :// We are checking to see if earlier assistance had been extended, an earlier climate of tolerance, back to Margret.

With immigration increasing from Jewish, Arab and other ethnic-religious origins, Odense experiences tensions familiar to other parts of the world, see ://

The altarpiece at St. Knud's Church:

Nearby, just down the block, is St. Alban's Church, on the site where the original St. Albans had been, where King Knud and Benedikt and followers were killed.

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