Before the advent of Lutheranism, the Finnish people had been Catholic for about 400 years. A hymn in the Finnish Lutheran hymnal contains the lines “A man came from England / to sow the seeds of faith”. This is a rephrasing of Ramus virens, a medieval Catholic text sometimes called Finland’s first national anthem. The man from England was St Henry, a 12th-century missionary bishop and martyr, who became the patron saint of Finland and its medieval cathedral, located in Turku, the oldest city in the country.

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