2015 Year of Consecrated Life, Praying for and encouraging Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life for Ireland & for Renewal of the Catholic Faith, and renewed faithfulness to the Teachings of Christ and His Church
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Year of Faith - The Saints - St. Boniface
Today the Church remembers St. Boniface, bishop and martyr.
He was born around 680 AD into a Saxon family and performed missionary in Germany
from 719 AD, when Pope Gregory II requested thusly, until the saint's death in
c. 755 AD. Baptized with the name Winfrid, the saint received his early
education in a Benedictine monastery in Exeter.
In his teen years, he was sent to a monastery at Nursling in Hampshire,
compiled the first ever dictionary of Latin grammar. At the age of 30, St.
Boniface was ordained a priest.
In 716 AD he began missionary work in the area of
present-day Northern Holland. Declining the offer to
become Abbot of Nursling, St. Boniface went to Rome
in 719 and was commissioned by Pope Gregory II to be a missionary to Germany.
At that point, he was given the name "Boniface" meaning "meaning
maker of good". In his missionary work, St. Boniface was assisted by Saint
Albinus, Saint Abel, and Saint Agatha. During his mission in Germany,
St. Boniface destroyed idols and pagan temples, and built churches on the sites
to erase the false worship and establish worship of the True God. In 722, St.
Boniface was consecrated a bishop.
Much of Germany
had very little knowledge of true Christianity. St. Boniface became bishop of Mainz
and did amazing things for the Church in Germany
by helping to spread the Faith. Boniface
was called upon to lend his own support to FrankishChurch which was also sadly in need
of reform. He set up councils and syonds and instituted reforms which
revitalized the Church there.
At 73, a time when most are thinking of rest and
relaxation, Boniface headed back to Friesland on a new
mission. One day in 754 while he was awaiting some confirmands, an enemy band
attacked his camp. Although his companions wanted to fight, Boniface told them
to trust in God and to welcome death for the faith. All of them were
martyred. Boniface is known as the Apostle of Germany
Prayer to St. Boniface (as in Morning Prayer)
Almighty God, the martyr Saint Boniface
sealed with his blood the faith he preached.
Let him pray
that we may hold fast to the faith
and profess it courageously in our lives.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy