Christian Bishop to Greenland and Vinland 1050!
Following might come as a big surprise not only to all Christian Believers in North and South America today 2015, but to most of the scholars of History who thought they couldn’t find anything in old still remaining documents, mostly parchments…..
BISHOP SENT TO AND VISITED GREENLAND AND THE VINLAND 1050s
© Johansson Inger E, Greenland and the Greenlanders, the ”Missing people” manuscript 2000-01.
I followed my grandfather to the bench in harbor of Sannäs, Tanum’s parish, when I was a child. There I heard old stories told, stories that had been told from generation to generation over 1000 years. Most of them I have been able to track hard evidence for in my looking for remaining sources written mostly in Latin.
This is one of the stories I heard of back in mid 1950’s. Then a myth now hard reality about the forgotten history of the past.
Bishop sent to Vinland in 1050’s
There is a very surprising indication that Bishop Jon first appointed to become Bishop for the Icelanders and then sent by the Catholic Church to become Bishop of Greenland, not only got the Greenland but also to Vinland. Crossnes in Vinland was one of the two early Mededival dioces under Gardar See. Greenland’s See first was built in Western Settlement. Moved in 1130’s to Gardar.
Among the few Scholars of History and/or Religion who studied existing sources was Anders Magnus Strinnholm, Member of Swedish Academy char 17 1937-62. He wrote from Papal documents that Bishop Jon travelled from Greenland to Vinland in 1050’s. Among other things he also noted that Bishop Jon were sent to Vinlands residents to spread Christianity.
One of the most written about Bishop Jon also called Jonus the sources are Swedish Academy member to chair 17 1837-62, Anders Magnus Strinnholm.
Another who written about Bishop Jon’s Mission to Crossnes, Vinland was Dr. Luca Jelic who gave a speech in connection with the International Catholic Science Congress in Paris in 1891. (the tip was given to me by a member of the French Academy in late 1990’s. I received the member’s own papers from studying History as well as where to look for to French translated texts from early Medieval Age on, mainly Papal documents written in Latin
But there’s more.
As young Bishop Jon had studied religion in Germany in order to become a priest. In some sources it’s said that Bishop Jon had Irish ancestors. In other that he had Saxon background. It’s probable but not proven that it was Archbishop Adalbert himself who sent Bishop Jon on a his mission. In mid 1000’s Bishop Jon came to Iceland where he remained four years. Then he travelled on to Greenland. In 1059 Bishop Jon sailed from Greenland to Crossnes Vinland. He could with his own eyes see that the Greenlanders in Vinland had becomed friends with the Indians after the early battle where Snorri Thorbrand’s son Thorbrand was killed in year 1003.
What makes this extra interesting is that the parish in Vinland Bishop Jon visited was called Crossnes. Same name as the place in Vinland where Karlsefni and his sailing friends is said to have built some huts.
According to documents Bishop Jon is believed to/said to have converted some Vinlanders to Christianity. Also a few Indians. (word used can be translated to natives in today’s vocabulary). What happened next was that shortly there after some of the heathen Vinlanders are said to have killed Bishop Jon. Which thus makes Bishop Jon the first Christian martyr in North America. It’s sad that this story from still existing documents never been translated from latin to any other language than French…
Now this is the case for many more stories regarding the Norse settlers in Greenland and North America as well as the contacts between Christian believers in for example Crossnes and the Papal Church. Very few primary sources for this are translated into any language other than French from Latin. Probably this is one of the reasons that awareness of existing contacts somehow got lost over the centuries. In 1364 Ivar Bardarson who been in Greenland and visited dioceses under Gardar See paid the tithes for Crossnes to the visiting Papal delegate in Bergen. Btw. same delegate later became Pope….