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Friday, January 8, 2016

Thorfinn of Hamar

January 8 is the feast day of St. Thorfinn of Hamar. Thorfinn was Bishop of the Ancient Diocese of Hamar, which was formed in 1152 and lasted until 1537. The diocese included parts of the counties of Hedmark (all except Solør, Odalen and northern Østerdalen), Oppland (all except Valdres), Buskerud (Numedal and Ringerike), and Telemark (Hjartdal, Notodden, Seljord, Tinn and Vinje). It was part of the ecclesiastical province of Nidaros.

After King Eric II of Norway repudiated the Tønsberg Concord (which had confirmed the rights of the clergy) in 1282, there was a dispute between church and state, and Thorfinn was exiled. He went to the Ter Doest Abbey in Lissewege, Belgium. He died there on 8 January 1285.

Walter de Muda, a monk at the Ter Doest Abbey, wrote a poem about Thorfinn. He described Thorfinn as kind, patient, gentle, strong, and good. He hung the poem over Thorfinn's tomb.

Thorfinn of Hamar is one of the few Norwegian saints. Some of my ancestors lived in Seljord and Hitterdal (now part of Notodden), which were part of the Ancient Diocese of Hamar.

Ancient Diocese of Hamar
Feast of St. Thorfinn of Hamar (January 8)
One of the few Norwegian saints
Saint Thorfinn
Saint Thorfinn - Newman Connection 
Thorfinn of Hamar
Thorfinn of Hamar (d. 1285)

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