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All Soul's Day

  Visions of holographic images on All Soul's Day 

Fríkirkjan is the largest wooden church in Reykjavík. The white structure on the right is 'Glaumbær'  and houses Listasafn Íslands (Icelandic Art Museum). Þorsteinn V. Jónsson

Spirit-beings have been known to frequent the Icelandic churches.  Fríkirkjan  or The Free Church in Reykjavik is no exception to such visitations.   

The Free Church is a breakaway church from the State (Lutheran) Church. 

This transfer to the Free Church had nothing to do with the doctrine. It seemed to have more to do with imitating the rest of the world. 

The Free Church was organized more like the churches in Norway and the Icelandic communities in North America.

The original Free Church by the pond, Tjörnin, in Reykjavík. Built in 1903.   Magnús Ólafsson (1862-1937)

The growing congregation was in need of a building and in 1903 they consecrated their brand new church east of  the pond,  Tjörnin

As the congregation grew even bigger, the church went through structural changes as early as in 1905. Then again, less than 20 years later, in 1924, they built even more additions to the church.

      
Side view of the original Fríkirkja (Free Church) in Reykjavik.   Sigfús Eymundsson (1837-1911) 

On the left is Iðnó, in the middle is the Inner City School and to the right is the Free Church. In front of the buildings is Tjörnin and up above is the German air ship   Graf Zeppelin. It came to Iceland in 1930 and 1931.   Pálína Þorleifsdóttir

The otherworldly phenomenon experienced in this church are so many that they cannot all be mentioned here. Some have already been mentioned in my  blogs here , while others I have included in my work in progress (WIP)  . One of the women I mention in my book is   Valgerður Gísladóttir   (1902-1979). 

During Valgerður's childhood, many authors and poets frequented her home. Among them were the spiritists  Einar H. Kvaran  and  Rev. Haraldur Níelsson . During her childhood and teenage years, Valgerður was not a believer in healings or communication with the dead. It wasn't until later in life that she began to keep a more open mind.

Valgerður Gísladóttir 1957.   Þjóðviljinn

Valgerður's mom, the midwife  María Þorvarðardóttir  (1862-1937), was mystical by nature and believed strongly in otherworldly things, including healings.

Although her spiritist-affiliated mother discussed otherworldly things with Einar Kvaran and the Reverend, Valgerður's favorite guests were the atheist and socialist,   Þorsteinn Erlingsson and                Jón Trausti whose work mirrored  naturalism. They seemed to be more realistic and to have more sympathy for the people.

Helga María Þorvarðardóttir (1862-1937). Morgunblaðið

As Valgerður grew older, she spent her time and energy in politics. She   was optimistic about the future of equal rights in Iceland. She also saw the need to fight against the injustice in the legal system. Gender roles didn't sit well with her and she felt that women could do much of the same work that men were doing. 

For a time,  Valgerður  served as  the President of the Women's Association of the Socialistic Party (Kvennafélag sosialista). She was also active in a party called   The People's Alliance  (Alþýðubandalagið) and   The People's Unity Party--Socialist Party   (Sósíalistaflokkurinn). She also played a role in multiple other associations, including Children Protection Services. 

Her strong personality and high intelligence was admired by many. She was known for her honesty, decency and love for her fellow human beings. 

     
The Free Church by the pond in Reykjavík as it looks today.    

It wasn't until Valgerður was in her early 20's that she began to believe in otherworldly phenomenon, including spiritual healings. She had for a long time suffered from a severe knee problem that forced her to use crutches while walking (see WIP). 

Valgerður's mom had tried multiple times to get her to have a medium heal her. Valgerður wasn't about to fall into the superstitious trap. 

Emotionally, she wasn't ready to put her hopes into something she didn't believe in. She wasn't ready to put her hopes into something she didn't believe would work. It would only cause her disappointment and deepen the depression of yet another failed treatment. She wanted nothing to do with it. 

At the time, Valgerður had moved in with her parents as she hadn't been able to work due to her injury.  Around this time, Valgerður dreamt of a woman entering her room. The woman walked over to her bed. She didn't know the woman, but she saw her clearly. She was average height with penetrating gray eyes and sharp eye brows. 

She looked down at Valgerður and said with a strict commanding voice:  Let yourself be healed, child . Valgerður startled and was instantly wide awake. Even though she was awake, she thought she saw the woman walk out of her room.

Hverfisgata 70, Reykjavik is the home Valgerður grew up in. It is also where she had the dream and where the medium healed her injury. 

The following morning she told her mother about the dream and described the woman. Her mom recognized the woman right away as her own mother,  Valgerður Bjarnadóttir (1829-1895). 

Valgerður, named after her grandmother, had never seen her grandmother as she died before she was born. She had never seen a picture of her, either. Seeing this as a sign, her mom begged her to allow the medium to at least give it a try.

Valgerður wanted to get better more than anything, but had zero faith in mediums or any other miraculous healings. She did believe in God or some type of a higher power who controlled our lives if we did what we thought was best and right. 

Being in her early twenties, she hadn't had much life experience yet. She felt very confused on the matter and since all attempts of general medical practice had failed, she finally agreed to try the healing. 

Excited, her mom invited the medium  Andrés Böðvarsson  (1896-1931)  (who's story I will tell you in my WIP). He had Valgerður lie down on a chaise, then put his hands in the area of her injury. 

Valgerður was determined to stay awake and make sure she knew exactly what was going on. But as she grew more tired, she fell asleep before even realizing it. 

     
The only image of Andrés Böðvarsson that I could find.  Morgunn

When Valgerður woke up the morning after, she was surprised to move her knee. It had been a very long time since she had been able to bend it at all. She walked around the house in awe and in shock that she was moving her leg normally and without crutches. 

Valgerður walked into living-room where the healing had taken place. At the table was a note that the medium had written. She walked over to the table and picked up the note. As she began reading, she realized that it described what type of injury it was and how it had occurred. 

It wasn't until that moment that Valgerður remembered the incidence. It had been such an uneventful misstep of the foot when climbing a fence, that she would never had put the two together.

      
Free Church on the right.   Betty D Scott

After the dream-visit by her grandmother and the spirit-healing, Valgerður began discussing these things with her mother and was soon an unwavering believer in otherworldly communications.

Since then, her grandmother continued to visit her. Although she was dead before Valgerður was born, she felt she knew her grandmother very well. She saw and talked to her often. Her grandmother would frequently give her good advice when she needed it.

In  1899 the Free Church had with 600 members. In 1901,  6,321 residents  lived in Reykjavík. This shows that about 10% of Reykjavík's residents left the State Church and joined the Free Church community.  Mörður Árnason

On November 2nd, which was the   All Soul's Day, the day dedicated for prayer and remembrance of all souls who have left their earthly body, Valgerður went to the Free Church. 

Reverend  Jón Auðuns was preaching that day. You may remember him from my previous  blogs here

As Valgerður sat in her seat watching the choir sing, she suddenly saw an image of a woman right above the choir. The image was as clear as day and very detailed.  Valgerður was a little confused, thinking she was seeing things that weren't really there.

She tried to get rid of the image by looking elsewhere around the church and out through the window. Then she looked back at the choir, but the image of the woman was still there.

    Ever since Valgerður reached adulthood, she was a member of Icelandic Society for Psychical Research which Einar Kvaran founded.  Þjóðviljinn

Judging by the woman's large dress and the way her hair was done, she appeared to be from the 17th Century or so. She was sitting in a chair and had a lot of hair. 

Then a cloud appeared and covered the woman's face and then the entire image. As soon as her image disappeared, another image appeared. This time it was of Reverend Haraldur Níelsson. She recognized the image because it was the exact same as a picture she had seen in her mom's house. 

It then occurred to Valgerður that she shouldn't have doubted her vision of the lady in the first place. The reason the image of the Reverend appeared was to show her that the first image was a true v She felt she was shown the latter picture to prove the authenticity of the first image.

 
The Day of the Dead. Painting by   William-Adolphe Bouguereau


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