The Life of St. Anna of Novgorod
trans. Isaac Lambertsen
It is often too far from the Orthodox conscience that for half of Christian history the entire Church, both east and west, was Orthodox (except for those groups which had departed into heresy in the early centuries, such as the Monophysites and Nestorians). While contacts between the Christian east and west were not everyday matters, it was not an extraordinary matter for the daughter of the first Christian king of Sweden to become a princess of Russia and ruler of Ladoga. What was extraordinary, then as now, was for someone of necessity so deeply occupied with the affairs of this world (she was also mother of seven sons and three daughters) to shine so brilliantly in piety. Turning the tables, she raised in the East and sent back to the West the orphan sons of King Edmund of England and Magnus, son of King Olaf Haraldson of Norway (who later inherited his throne).