Meet the Middle Ages




In medieval society, one was never alone, because one always had a saint at one ´s side. People would pray to the saints, asking them to remember them to God. The saints were celebrated on special days. They were heroes and role models to the people.

Saints were people who had had a special relationship to God during their lifetime. Some were canonised by the Pope, others by the local Bishop. Popular saints were for example Laurence, Chistopher and Nicholas. There were female saints too; Cecilia, Agnes, Helena and Birgitta.

In many churches, holy relics were kept in a shrine. A relic could be the bones or hair of a saint. These relics were ceremoniously carried in a procession when one celebrated the saint in question. This , for example, would happen every year in Vadstena on October 7, when St. Birgitta was celebrated.

Children were often named after the saints or after people in the Bible. If you think about it, these names are still popular; Nicholas, Birgitta, Daniel, Andreas, Maria, Anna…

A long time had to pass before anyone could be canonised. The saint ´s life had to be taken down in writing (see Legends of Saints) and stories had to be collected from the people who had been helped by praying to the saints (seeMiracle Stories).