Botvid was born in Sweden. He lived near the end of the eleventh century. The young man was brought up a pagan. But when he went to England, he became a Christian. Although he was not a priest, he felt a great desire to spread the Gospel message. He wanted to share Christianity with his own countrymen. He would be a lay missionary.
For this reason, St. Botvid returned to Sweden to work for the Lord there. But he was not even satisfied then. He wanted the Gospel to be preached in Finland, too. So he bought a Finnish slave and taught him the Catholic religion. Then he set the slave free to go back to his own country and catechize there. That man repaid the saint for his goodness by a terrible act of ingratitude. St. Botvid set out in a boat to take him across the Baltic sea to Finland. When they went ashore and the saint was asleep, the wicked slave killed Botvid and sailed away with the boat. When the saint did not return, friends searched for him until they found his body. He died in 1100.
St. Botvid is honored as a martyr of charity and as one of the apostles of Sweden.
Today we might consider showing our appreciation and gratitude to individuals who have helped us in so many ways, especially our parents and teachers.