Hemming of Abo


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bishop in Finland. He was born in Sweden at Balinge (near Uppsala) and studied theology and canon law at Paris. In 1329 he became a canon of Abo cathedral (Helsinki) and in 1339 its bishop. Although zealous for his diocese, he also travelled much, both over border disputes with Uppsala, from where Henry of Finland had pioneered its conversion, but also through accompanying Bridget of Sweden to France. This queen worked with Hemming's help both to end the Hundred Years War between England and France and to end the residence of the popes in Avignon.

Hemming's diocesan synod of 1352 reveals his care for the proper celebration of the main feasts of the Church as well as those of the local saints of Scandinavia, Henry, Eric, and Olaf. He was also concerned with the custody of the Eucharist, with the administration of Church property and with suppressing the payment of fees by poor people either for dispensations or for funerals. He died on 22 May and was buried at Abo cathedral. Miracles were recorded at his tomb and in 1514 the Holy See authorized the translation and enshrinement of his relics. A fine embroidered altar frontal survives in Finland, which depicts Hemming and Bridget together: an angel holds the mitre over his head. Feast: 22 May.

Bibl. SS., vii. 584–6.

Subjects: Christianity.

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