Saint Helena of Skövde: A Medieval Pilgrim to Jerusalem

May 4, 2023

The weak and timid sex was not deterred by the difficulties and the perils of a long voyage. Helena, born of a noble family of Sweden, quitted her country, which was buried in idolatry, and traveled on foot into the East. When, after having visited the holy places, she returned to her country, she was sacrificed to the resentment of her relations and compatriots, and gathered, says an old legend, the palm of martyrdom. A few of the faithful, touched with her piety, raised a chapel to her memory in the isle of Zealand, near a fountain, which is still called the Fountain of St. Helena. The Christians of the North for a long time went in pilgrimage to this island, where they contemplated a grotto which Helena had inhabited before her departure for Jerusalem.

Joseph François Michaud, History of the Crusades, trans. W. Robson (New York: Redfied, 1853), 1:27.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 877


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