Blessed Henry of Vitskøl



Cistercian monk at the abbey of Clairvaux. Spiritual student of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. Like many others from that house, he went out to establish other houses, and c.1150 travelled to the Nordic countries. There he became abbot of Varnhem Abbey in Sweden, but when Queen Christina Björnsdotter sought to take over their property, Henry left to seek help from other houses. He reached Roskilde, Zealand, Denmark during a synod led by Archbishop Eskil of Lund. Eskil was so impressed with Henry, and so sympathetic to his problem, that he recommended him to lead a monastery that King Valdemar was planning to build. Henry became the first abbot of Vitskøl Abbey, and brought many of his harassed brothers from Sweden to live there. Most eventually returned to Varnhem when the pressures against their house ended, but Henry continued to lead the house of Vitskøl, making it a regional center of piety and learning, and a source of medical herbs.


Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Henry of Vitskøl“. CatholicSaints.Info. 9 February 2020. Web. 27 November 2021. <>