Church of St. Olav
In 1054 in the history of the Universal Christian Church was a sad event: it was split into West, subordinate to the Pope of Rome (now the Catholic Church) and Eastern (Orthodox). From this point on the western and eastern Christians are living in different calendars and celebrate Christmas and Easter at different times. At various times, have to celebrate New Year's Eve and, because this secular holiday to celebrate made one week after Christmas.
But until 1054 it was the one Church, and all the saints canonized until this time, are common to Western and Eastern Christians.
Two of the most famous church in Tallinn called St. Nicholas (St. Nicholas Church) and St. Olaf (Saint Olaf Church). The name of St. Nicholas is known to anyone who is even slightly touched with Orthodoxy. But on Olaf do not. Once it was a very revered saint in Northern Russia, but his memory is gradually weakened.
However, the pious King Olaf the Holy Martyr - the patron and the Baptist Norway, one of the great Russian prince Yaroslav the Wise, the last common saint for the western and eastern churches, deserve to remember it.
Olaf was three years old, when ended the reign of King Olaf Tryggvason, mladsheggo friend and companion of Prince Vladimir the Red Sun. When Olaf Tryggvason was a boy, Vladimir bought him and his mother from slavery, Olaf served in his squad and was loved Novgorod for candor and courage. Becoming a Norwegian king, Olaf began to work actively for the Christianization of Norway, but could not finish it. He was killed in a naval battle with the Swedes, Danes and Norwegian traitors. However, immediately after his death there was a legend that the king was still alive and was picked up by a neutral ship wends, and later became abbot of the monastery of the Orthodox in Syria.
Here is the King Olav was not just a dream to his kinsman, Olaf, too, the future saint, instructing him to Christianity and praising the exploits. St. Olaf, like his predecessor, Olaf Tryggvason, or Prince Vladimir was a pagan in his youth, and commanded a naval campaigns of the Vikings. But, having accepted Christianity, he became a zealous advocate in his native Norway, and the British Isles, and in Russia (Karelia, in the present - in Lake Ladoga, in Aldegaburge (Staraya Ladoga), as well as in Novgorod, Novgorod in the courts of princes).
Knut the Mighty King of Denmark (also mastered and England) was an implacable enemy of King Olaf, who refused to accept a protectorate of Denmark over Norway, the Swedish king was also offended by Olaf, has not agreed to its territorial claims. So he did not let his daughter marry Ingigerd King Olaf (which she is very willing), and married her to a Russian Grand Prince Yaroslav the Wise. However Ingigerd and Olaf were able to stay friends ("Eymundova saga" said she loved only him, but kept the devotion to duty, and it was introduced Ingigerd Olaf and Yaroslav (he was called in the sagas konung Yaritsleyv). Thus, the Norwegian king lost his fiancee, but found a devoted friend. King Olaf a long time stayed in Novgorod in the court of Yaroslav the Wise, one day he found salvation from the Novgorod troops of Knut the Mighty and Norwegian traitors.
The fact that in 1027 Olaf was defeated by the Danes and in 1028 was forced to leave Norway and escape to Sweden and then on to Russia, in Novgorod to Ingegerd. He ran there together with his minor son Magnus, leaving his wife Astrid of Sweden. In Novgorod, Ingegerd insisted Magnus remained at Yaroslav. At this time the Norwegian throne, Canute took the I, put the "governor" of her son by concubine Alvivy Swain. In 1030 at the call of his supporters Olaf returned to Norway and Sweden have tried to help regain the throne, but in July 1030 (29 th or 31 th day) in Stiklastadire was killed in a battle with the pagan warriors Norwegian nobility that crossed the Danish side, and bonds. Before the last battle, he turned to the soldiers, saying: "Come on, people of Christ, the people of King!"
I was the son of Olaf - Magnus and his daughter - Ulfilda.
Later, Magnus became king of Norway under the name of Magnus the Noble. The famous medieval Icelandic historian and poet Snorri Sturluson in the povestovanii of Magnus wrote that the first Magnus was a cruel and terrible king, who took revenge for the expulsion of his father, but then so much the skald Sigvat Magnus acted on his speech, that of a tyrant, he turned into a soft and good ruler.
In the photo: the ruins of the church of St. Olaf in Sigtuna, the ancient capital of Sweden
Ingigerd after his death was declared a Saint by the name of Anna of Novgorod, and on behalf of the Swedish historical region called Ingria.
In 1164 Pope Alexander III Olav was canonized and became revered as the patron of Norway. The day of his memory - 29 July - a holiday in Norway. Saint Olaf was the last time the Western saints (before the Great Schism of 1054), also revered in the Christian East as St. Olaf II Haraldsson faithful, King of Norway, Norwegian Baptist and educator.In Russia, in the name of St. Olaf were consecrated churches in Novgorod (where he lived for several years) and Staraya Ladoga, where he was staying with travel mayor Regnvalda Ulvsona, because between them, as mentioned in the sagas, "was the greatest friendship."
In the Middle Ages, the news of the miracles, prayer, committed to St.. Olaf has spread around the world. Shortly after him was built many temples everywhere spread the influence of the Vikings from Dublin to the Orkney Islands, and Novgorod. In England, he was devoted to the 40 ancient temples, and his feast was celebrated in all calendars. In Constantinople, was also erected a temple in honor of St. Olaf.
In the ancient Church of St. Olaf Novgorod was built the Gotland merchants on hand at the Commerce Marketplace in Yaroslav's Court at the Commercial court of Gotha, founded in the XII century. The Church existed before the XIV century. Often, this church was called "Varangian shrine." In the excavation of St. Nicholas Cathedral Dvorischenskogo in Yaroslav's Court in Novgorod in 2007 found the seal of the XV century with the image of St. Olaf. In the Scandinavian sources, this church is mentioned in the saga of the "Miraculous healing of the dumb slave in the church of St. Olaf in Holmgarde."
In the medieval "Book of Sermons Norwegian" describes such a case: "It happened one day in the Garden on the east (ie in Russia), which caught fire in a shopping town, which was called Holmgrad (Novgorod), and it seemed that the whole town burn down. And ranall the people that are full of fear to one priest, who was called Stephen. He served in the church of St. Olaf. wanted people to experience the city in such great trouble and might help Saint Olaf King, and so check the stories of other people, and as soon as the priest heard their desire to and the request, he took a good picture of Mr. and drew against fire. And the fire has not gone beyond the point where it starts, and so was spared much of the city. "
Stories and the saga of the life and deeds of St. Olaf - is not only a bright example for Christians, but also a reminder that in the early Middle Ages in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Finland and the British Isles were in Novgorod Rus (including Karelia) region of a single culture and a multilingual ethnic group.
P.S. According to the ancient canons on icons "ought to represent St. Olaf's red, that was clear, that this pious king comes from the Vikings."