May 18 – St. Erik, King of Sweden, Martyr

May 18 –  St. Erik, King of Sweden, Martyr –

According to legends, Erik did much to consolidate Christianity in his realm and spread the faith into Finland. In an effort to conquer and convert the Finns, he allegedly led the First Swedish Crusade against the native Finns and persuaded an English Bishop Henry of Uppsala to remain in Finland to evangelize the natives, later becoming a martyr there.

Erik was responsible for codifying the laws of his kingdom, which became known as King Erik’s Law (also the Code of Uppland). Additionally, he established a monastic chapter in Old Uppsala, which had come from the Danish abbey of Odense.