I’m writing for my ancestors, really; thinking with my keyboard, reporting back to them.
Many centuries ago, large golden-haired, fair-skinned people from the peninsula we now call Sweden began to expand eastward through a land of smaller brown-skinned blue-eyed people who called these invaders “Rus.” Over the next several centures these Rus fought and settled and traded their way eastward and then southward, eventually centering their rule in a city known as Kiev. From that city they ruled a great kingdom and interacted with people in all directions. They traveled far enough southwards to become known by the Arabs. During this southward expansion they came to the great city of Byzantium, which was the center of a civilization that was magnificent beyond the experience of these Rus, the Swedish Vikings.
Wisely, they settled into trade agreements and an uneasy political friendship, which lasted for a few more generations.
Meanwhile, in the land of their origin, Christianity came to the Swedish peninsula. For about 500 years the Swedes enjoyed the advantages of the civilizing and humanizing force of the True Faith.
There were good kings and good queens. There were saints who reached great heights of spiritual development and inspired their countrymen, and one, St. Bridget traveled all the way to Rome where she was graciuosly received and her wisdom and advice was acknowledged.
Things changed in the 16th century. My ancestors most likely felt these changes approaching, threatening the peace and unity of their land. For many reasons, studied by both secular and Christian scholars, great portions of Northern Europe were broken off from the Faith, and Christianity became a matter of political loyalty. You adopted the religion of your king – or your prince – or your duke – or your governor – or your mayor. Back and forth, as political fortunes rose and fell, the people without their original Faith to anchor them, became one religion or another.
My ancestors, the ones whose names are unknown, the simple citizens of the Swedish peninsula, most likely prayed fervently for the preservation of the Faith, for their faith, and for the faith of their children and grandchildren, and perhaps some thought to pray for their descendants, that one day the Faith would be restored among them.
In gratitude for the prayers of my ancestors, I write this blog to demonstrate that one of their descendants is trying very hard learn what they knew, to follow the Faith that was delivered to them, and with God’s grace, is still being delivered to some of us who live in this poor century.
INSTAURARE OMNIO IN CHRISTO!