Evangelization began in the land of the Vikings in the ninth century and increased significantly under King Saint Olaf Haraldsson (1015-1030). Popular piety sang praises  to the Mother of God through poems.

In 1526-1537, the king of Denmark imposed the Lutheran Reformation with severe persecution. Then, in 1607, Protestantism was proclaimed the religion of the State. Devotion to Mary was banned, the prayer of the Rosary was particular under attack; the liturgical feasts of the Annunciation and the Visitation disappeared.

In modern times some people have felt nostalgia for the old faith, and the national poet Bjoernstjerne Bjoernson (1832-1910) once lamented:

"Saint Olaf and the Blessed Virgin Mary, stripped off the walls of churches, have left behind a void that has never been refilled."

Saint John Paul II, during his ecumenical trip through the Scandinavian countries in June of 1989, met with the Lutherans in Oslo and, invoking Our Lady of the North, asked them to search again for the faith of the origins.

Marian Shrines

In Bergen, Saint Mary's Church dates back to the 12th-century. Two other churches are dedicated to Mary, one in Posgrunn, the other in Stabekk, and two chapels, in Oslo and in Lillehammer. In Oslo, Our Lady of Fatima is venerated in the Cathedral Saint Olaf.


Attilio GALLI, Madre della Chiesa dei Cinque continenti, Ed. Segno, Udine, 1997,