Friday, December 22, 2006

Saint Erik

I recently found a new item in my quest for stamp picturing famous people named Eric

This stamp belongs to a set of three issued on the 7th of September 2006 by Swedish post. The stamps commemorate the 650th anniversary of the Hanseatic league and belong to a joint issue with Germany. The Hanseatic League was an alliance of trading guilds that established and maintained a trade monopoly over the Baltic Sea between the 13th and 17th centuries.

This stamp pictures one of the seal from Stockholm showing Saint Erik’s crowned hear, and dating from 1370. Saint Erik was in fact Erik IX, king of Sweden between 1150 and 1160. Very few historical data is available about the life of Erick IX. According to the legends, he did a lot to consolidate Christianity in his realm and to spread the faith in Finland. He was murdered the 18th of May 1160. He later became a Saint whose feast day in the Catholic Church is the 18th of May, but he was never formally canonized by the Catholic Church. Erik is the patron saint of Stockholm and is depicted in the city coat’s of arms.

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