The Holy Martyr and Right-Believing King '''Olaf II of Norway''' (sometimes spelled '''Olav''') is also known as '''Olaf Haraldson''' and was a son of Earl Harald Grenske of Norway. During his lifetime he was also called '''Olaf the Fat'''. He was born in 995 A.D., and ruled Norway from 1015 to 1028, when he was exiled. He died two years later on the field of battle at Stiklestad, killed for his support of the Christian faith and his attempt to unite Norway into one nation. His [[feast day]] is [[July 29]].
He should not be confused with his
grandfather Olaf Tryggvason (King Olaf I of Norway).
According to Snorri Sturluson (a 12th and 13th century Icelandic historian), he was baptized in 998 in Norway, but more probably about 1010 in Rouen, France, by [[Archbishop]] Robert. In his early youth he went as a viking to England, where he took part in many battles and became earnestly interested in Christianity. After many difficulties he was elected King of Norway, and made it his object to extirpate heathenism and make the Christian religion the basis of his kingdom.
He is the great Norwegian legislator for the Church, and like his
ancestor Olaf Tryggvason, made frequent severe attacks on the old faith and customs, demolishing the temples and building Christian churches in their place. He brought many [[bishop]]s and [[priest]]s from England, as King Canute IV later did to Denmark. Some few are known by name (Grimkel, Sigfrid, Rudolf, Bernhard). He seems on the whole to have taken the Anglo-Saxon conditions as a model for the ecclesiastical organization of his kingdom.
But at last the exasperation against him got so strong that the mighty clans rose in rebellion against him and applied to King Canute II of Denmark and England for help. This was willingly given, whereupon Olaf was expelled and Canute elected King of Norway. Olaf fled to Kievan Rus, and during the voyage he stayed some time in Sweden in the province of Nerike where, according to local legend, he baptized many locals.