Anskar, Apostle of the North

3 February -- Lesser Festival -- Missionary -- White

A native of Picardy, Anskar was a monk of Corbie near Amiens who, after the conversion of the King of Denmark to Christianity, went to Schleswig and attempted to start a Christian school there. He was expelled by the locals but went on to Sweden, where he is reputed to have built the first Christian church. In 832 he was consecrated Bishop of Hamburg and sixteen years later became Archbishop of Bremen. He returned to Denmark to convert the King of Jutland. He preached widely throughout Scandinavia and was much-loved for his work with the poor and in mitigating the slave trade. He is the patron saint of Denmark. He died in the year 865.


God of grace and might,
who sent your servant Anskar
to spread the gospel to the Nordic peoples:
raise up, we pray, in our generation
   messengers of your good news
   and heralds of your kingdom
that the world may come to know
   the immeasurable riches of our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

A reading from the prophecy of Isaiah.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns." Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion. Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

This is the word of the Lord.         Isaiah 52. 7-10

Responsorial Psalm

RBreak forth together into singing
[for the Lord has comforted his people].
You are to be praised, O God, in Zion;
to you shall vows be performed in Jerusalem.
To you that hear prayer shall all flesh come,
because of their transgressions. R

Happy are they whom you choose
and draw to your courts to dwell there!
they will be satisfied by the beauty of your house,
by the holiness of your temple. R

Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness,
O God of our salvation,
O Hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the seas that are far away. R         From Psalm 65

A reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans.

The scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

This is the word of the Lord.         Romans 10. 11-15

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.

Jesus called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them." So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

This is the gospel of Christ.         Mark 6. 7-13

Post Communion

Holy Father,
who gathered us here around the table of your Son
to share this meal with the whole household of God:
in that new world where you reveal
   the fullness of your peace,
gather people of every race and language
to share with your servant Anskar and all your saints
in the eternal banquet of Jesus Christ our Lord.