The New International Encyclopædia/Ansgar
ANSGAR, äns'gär (Anskar, or Anscharius) (801-865). A French prelate, styled “the Apostle of the North,” on account of his labors to introduce Christianity into Denmark, Sweden, and northern Germany. He was born near the monastery of Corbie, in the vicinity of Amiens, France. In this monastery and that of Korvei, in Westphalia, an offshoot of the former, he was educated, and in the latter he subsequently became preacher. His family belonged to the Frankish nobility, and under the patronage of Louis le Débonnaire he went, with his colleague Autbert, to preach the doctrines of Christianity among the heathen Northmen of Schleswig, where he suffered many persecutions, but had, nevertheless, such success that in 831 the Pope established an archbishopric in Hamburg, and Ansgar was appointed the first archbishop. Here he passed through many difficulties, being compelled to save his life by flight in 845, when the Northmen and Danes under Eric I. plundered Hamburg. He afterward made several missionary tours in Denmark and Sweden, and died February 3, 865, at Bremen, where a church was named after him. The Roman Catholic Church has canonized him. For his life, consult: G. H. Klippel (Bremen, 1845); Tappehorn (Münster, 1863).