|Thor at Djurgarden Bridge, Stockholm|
Success brings confidence, sometimes even arrogance, out of many of us. We must guard against feeling that we've been doing so well for so long that we can do what we want. This, I imagine, is what went wrong for Ulfrid.
In AD 1028, he was preaching his Christian message in a town that had a large wooden icon of Thor. Perhaps recalling the early church fathers who destroyed the statues of Jupiter & Co., Ulfrid seized a hatchet and began a little iconoclasm of his own. This was a bit much for the Swedes at hand; they killed our saint on the spot and dumped his body in a marsh.
I don't hold with iconoclasm -- not then and not now. He would have been much better off, and would have served the Church better, by preaching and baptizing and letting the Swedes decide for themselves whether they wanted to keep or dump the statue of Thor.