Ancient See of Aarhus


Ancient See of Aarhus

The Ancient See of Aarhus (Latin: Arusia, Arusiensis) was a pre-reformation Catholic diocese in Denmark.

The diocese included the counties (amter) of Aarhus and Randers, the islands of Samsø and Tunø, and, after 1396, part of the county of Viborg.

Contents

Norse Foundations

Frode, King of Jutland, built the church of the Holy Trinity at Aarhus in about 900. In 948 Archbishop Adaldag of Hamburg consecrated Reginbrand as missionary Bishop of Aarhus. Jutland was consolidated into a single diocese after Reginbrand's death in 988, with Viborg or Ribe as its centre. The diocese, then a suffragan of Hamburg-Bremen, was redivided in 1060, and Bishop Christian of Aarhus was ordained by Adalbert I, Archbishop of Hamburg. In 1104 the diocese became a suffragan of the then newly elevated Archdiocese of Lund.

Early Bishops

Bishop Ulfketil (1102-1134) planned the town of Aarhus. The warlike Svend Udsson (1166-1191) founded the Cistercian abbey at Om.

Saint Clement's Cathedral

Bishop Ulfketil built a wooden church in 1102 to contain the relics of Saint Clement. In about 1150 the Venerable Niels, Prince of Denmark was buried in the churchyard. The offerings at his tomb facilitated the commencement of a new stone cathedral.

Peter Vagnsen, Svend Udsson's successor, began the construction of the stone Cathedral of Saint Clement in 1201, which was finished about 1263. In 1330 the greater part of it was burnt down. Peter Jensen Lodeliat (1386-1395) and Bo Magnussen (1395-1423) were the prelates mainly concerned in the erection of the present building.

The Reformation

The last Catholic bishop, Ove Bilde resisted the Reformation but was imprisoned in 1536. In this he was aided by Paulus Heliae, prior of the Carmelite monastery at Elsinore.

Religious Life in the Diocese

There were in the diocese: a chapter with 34 prebendaries at Aarhus cathedral; Benedictines at Essenbeck, Voer, Alling, and Veirlov; Augustinian Canons at Tvilum, Cistercians at Øm, who survived till 1560; and Carthusians at Aarhus. There were also Franciscans at Horsens and Randers, Dominicans at Aarhus, Horsens, and Randers, Carmelites and a hospital of the Holy Spirit at Aarhus. There were Hospitallers of St. John till 1568 at Horsens. Lastly there were Brigittines at Mariager from 1412 to 1592.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. 


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