Near to what could be considered the beginning of the Christian conversion of Norway, under King Olaf Tryggvason, there was a farmer of Noble stock who stood against the king and his attempts at conversion.
Eyvind (Pronounced Ivin) Kinnrifi was called to make plans against the upcoming invasion by his friend Harek of Thjotta, who had very recently returned home after himself refusing conversion to Christianity. Eyvind answered the call, and for the sake of haste, he traveled with only a small retinue of men. He was well welcomed by Harek, but shortly after his arrival Eyvind was ambushed.
Unbeknownst to Harek, he had been followed by some of Olaf Tryggvason’s men. They forced Eyvind to Throndhjem, where Olaf attempted to convert Evyind, first with offers of land and gold, and then with threats of torture and death. Unwilling to turn him back on his faith, Eyvind was eventually killed.
So what can we learn from this story?
On the 9th of February, as we stop to remember Eyvind Kinrifi and his unwavering faith despite the consequences, take a moment to consider what in your own life is important to you. Have there ever been times in which you had to choose between keeping your faith and losing something else? A Job? A friend? Family?
Even in these times, when we are living with unparalleled freedom of choice, it can be difficult to choose faith over all else. It is sometimes easier to hide behind the idea of a pseudonym or to keep your faith hidden from those in our lives that should matter. Remember, when you think of Eyvind, what truly matters. Stand strong with and take pride in your Folk.
Hail, Eyvind Kinnrifi!