Henry, derived from the French name Henri and the German name Heimric, translates to “House Ruler.”
Born in Rome around the year 1100, Henry was an Englishman in the 12th century. In 1152, he was consecrated Bishop of Uppsala, Sweden, by the Papal Legate Nicolas Breakspear, who later became Pope Adrian IV. In 1154, during a punitive expedition led by St Eric, King of Sweden, against marauding Finns, Henry accompanied him.
Despite Eric offering peace and Christianity to the people of Finland, they refused, leading to a battle in which the Swedes emerged victorious. Henry baptized the defeated Finns in the Spring of Kuppis near Oslo. While Eric returned to Sweden, Henry stayed behind to continue converting the Finns, establishing a church at Nousis as his headquarters.
Tragically, Henry met a violent death at the hands of a converted Finn soldier named Lalli, driven by a false accusation from Lalli’s wife regarding food taken without permission. Enraged, Lalli pursued and fatally attacked the saint with an axe. After the act, Lalli placed the Bishop’s mitre on his head, but when attempting to remove it, his own scalp came off, resulting in Lalli’s painful demise.
Henry was laid to rest at Nousis, and reports of miracles at his tomb surfaced, including the restoration of sight to a blind woman in Kyro who prayed to St. Henry, among other documented accounts.