Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 5 June – St Boniface

Quote/s of the Day – 5 June – The Memorial of St Boniface (c 672-754) “The Apostle of Germany” – Martyr

Let us listen to these very appropriate quotes for our times!

“In her voyage across the ocean of this world,
the Church is like a great ship
being pounded by the waves
of life’s different stresses.
Our duty is not to abandon ship
but to keep her on her course.”in her voyage across the ocean of this world the church is like a great ship - st boniface 5 june 2020

“Let us stand fast in what is right and prepare our souls for trial.
Let us wait upon God’s strengthening aid and say to Him:
“O Lord, you have been our refuge in all generations.”
Let us trust in Him who has placed this burden upon us.
What we ourselves cannot bear, let us bear with the help of Christ.
For He is all-powerful and He tells us:
“My yoke is easy and my burden light.”let us stand fast in what is right and prepare our souls for trial - st boniface 5 june 2020
Let us continue the fight on the day of the Lord.
The days of anguish and of tribulation have overtaken us!
if God so wills,
“let us die for the holy laws of our fathers”,
so that we may deserve to obtain
an eternal inheritance with them.
Let us be neither dogs that do not bark
nor silent onlookers nor paid servants
who run away before the wolf.let us be neither dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers - st boniface 5 june 2020
Instead let us be careful shepherds watching over Christ’s flock.
Let us preach the whole of God’s plan
to the powerful and to the humble,
to rich and to poor,
to men of every rank and age,
as far as God gives us the strength,
in season and out of season.”

let us be careful shepherds - st boniface 5 june 2020

“Let us pray the gracious Defender of our life,
the only sure refuge of those in trouble,
that His right hand may keep us safe
amidst these dens of wolves
and, that He may guard us from harm,
so that the footsteps of apostates
walking in darkness may not be found,
where should be the beautiful feet of those
who carry the peaceful light of the Gospel
but, that the most gracious Father and God
may help us to gird up our loins,
with bright candles in our hands
and that He may enlighten the hearts of the heathen
to gaze at the glorious Gospel of Christ. 
Amen”

St Boniface (c 672-754)

let us pray the gracious defender of our life st boniface 5 june 2020

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 5 June

St Boniface and Companions (Memorial)
The Life of St Boniface:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/05/saint-of-the-day-5-june-st-boniface-672-754-martyr-the-apostle-of-germany/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2017/06/05/saint-of-the-day-5-june-st-boniface/


St Adalar of Erfurt
Bl Adalbert Radiouski
Bl Adam Arakawa
St Austrebertus of Vienne
St Claudius of Egypt and Companions
St Ðaminh Huyen
St Ðaminh Toai
St Dorotheus of Tyre
St Elleher
St Eoban of Utrecht
St Eutichius of Como
St Evasius of Africa
St Felix of Fritzlar
Bl Ferdinand of Portugal
St Franco of Assergi
St Genesius, Count of Clermont
St Gregory of Lilybaeum
St Gundekar
St Hadulph
St Luke Loan
Blessed Malgorzata Lucja Szewczyk (1828-1905)
Bl Meinwerk of Paderborn
St Privatus of Africa
St Sanctius of Córdoba
St Tudno of Caernarvon
St Waccar

Martyrs of Caesarea:
A group of Christians who converted together, were imprisoned together, tortured together, and martyred together. We know nothing more about them but their names – Cyria, Marcia, Valeria and Zenaides.
Died
Caesarea, Palestine, date unknown.

Martyrs of Egypt:
A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Galerius Maximian. The only other information was have is three of their names – Apollonius, Marcian and Nicanor.
Died
in Egypt, date unknown.

Martyrs of Perugia:
A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Decius. We know little more than their names – Cyriacus, Faustinus, Florentius, Julian and Marcellinus.
Died
beheaded in 250 in Perugia, Italy

Martyrs of Rome:
26 Christians martyred together. We have no details about them but their names – Candida, Castula, Fappa, Felician, Felicitas (2 of), Felicula, Fortunatus, Gagus, Gregor, Hilarius, Ingenuus, Juliana, Martialis, Maurus, Mustilus, Nicander, Prima, Rogata, Rutianus, Sacrinus, Saturnin, Secundian, Secundus, Urbicus, Victurus.
Died
• Rome, Italy, date unknown
• relics transferred to Antwerp, Belgium, date unknown

Posted in ARMOUR of CHRIST, C S LEWIS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on the CHURCH

Quote/s of the Day – 17 April – ‘Jesus is with me’

Quote/s of the Day – 17 April – Easter Friday, Readings: Acts 4:1-12, Psalm 118:1-2, 4, 22-27, John 21:1-14

Just as day was breaking,
Jesus stood on the shore ..

John 21:4

john 21 4 jesus stood on the shore - 17 april 2020

“In her voyage across the ocean of this world,
the Church is like a great ship
being pounded by the waves of life’s different stresses.
Our duty is not to abandon ship
but to keep her on her course.”

St Boniface (672-754)

in her voyage across the ocean of this world - st boniface 16 may 2019

“Jesus is with me.
I have nothing to fear.”

Bl Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901-1925)

jesus is with me i have nothing to fear bl pier giorgio frassati 4 july 2019

“Enemy-occupied territory – that is what this world is.
Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed,
you might say landed in disguise
and is calling us all,
to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.”

C S Lewis (1898-1963)

enemy-occupied-territory-c-s-lewis-19-april-speaking-of-becoming-a-saint

Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.

Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990)

Thomas Malcolm Muggeridge (24 March 1903 – 14 November 1990)
was an English journalist and satirist.
His father was a prominent socialist politician
and one of the early Labour Party Members of Parliament.
In his twenties, Muggeridge was attracted to communism
but after living in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, he became a forceful anti-communist.
In 1982, aged 79, Muggeridge was received into the Catholic Church along with his wife, Kitty.    This was largely under the influence of Mother Teresa,
about whom he had written a book, ‘Something Beautiful for God,’
setting out and interpreting her life.

never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream 17 april 2020

Posted in C S LEWIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 May – Christ and His Church

Quote/s of the Day – 16 May – Thursday of the Fourth week of Easter, C, Gospel: John 13:16–20

“Whoever receives
the one I send,
receives me..”

John 13:20whoever receives the one i send receives me john 13 20 16 may 2019.jpg

“In her voyage
across the ocean of this world,
the Church is like a great ship
being pounded by the waves
of life’s different stresses.
Our duty is not to abandon ship
but to keep her on her course.”

St Boniface (672-754)in her voyage across the ocean of this world - st boniface 16 may 2019

“The Church exists,
for nothing else
but to draw men into Christ,
to make them little Christs.
If they are not doing that,
all the cathedrals, clergy,
missions, sermons,
even the Bible itself,
are simply a waste of time.
God became man
for no other purpose.”

C S Lewis (1898-1963)the church exists for nothing else = c s lewis - 16 may 2019

“How sad it is,
when someone
comes to you,
looking for Jesus
and all they see.
is you.”

St Mother Teresa (1910-1997)how sad it is when someone comes to you lookin for jesus and all they see is you st mother teresa 16 may 2019

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 5 June – The Memorial of St Boniface (672-754) “The Apostle of Germany” – Martyr

Thought for the Day – 5 June – The Memorial of St Boniface (672-754) “The Apostle of Germany” – Martyr

An excerpt from a letter by St Boniface (672-754) “The Apostle of Germany”, Bishop and Martyr:

“Let us stand fast in what is right and prepare our souls for trial.
Let us wait upon God’s strengthening aid and say to Him:
“O Lord, you have been our refuge in all generations.”
Let us trust in Him, who has placed this burden upon us.
What we ourselves cannot bear, let us bear with the help of Christ.
For He is all-powerful and He tells us:
“My yoke is easy and my burden light.”
Let us continue the fight, on the day of the Lord.
The days of anguish and of tribulation have overtaken us.
If God so wills,
“let us die for the holy laws of our fathers,”
so that we may deserve, to obtain an eternal inheritance with them.
Let us be neither dogs that do not bark,
nor silent onlookers,
nor paid servants,
who run away before the wolf.
Instead, let us be careful shepherds,
watching over Christ’s flock.
Let us preach the whole of God’s plan,
to the powerful and to the humble,
to rich and to poor,
to men of every rank and age,
as far as God gives us the strength, in season and out of season.”

St Boniface, Pray for us!

st-boniface-pray-for-us-25 June 2018.

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD, VATICAN Documents

One Minute Reflection – 5 June – Tuesday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of St Boniface (672-754) “The Apostle of Germany” – Martyr

One Minute Reflection – 5 June – Tuesday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B and the Memorial of St Boniface (672-754) “The Apostle of Germany” – Martyr

“Everything is possible to one who has faith.”
Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”…Mark 9:23-24

REFLECTION – “Faith is a grace:  When St Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus declared to him that this revelation did not come “from flesh and blood” but from “my Father who is in heaven.” (Mt 16:17)   Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him.   “Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and ‘makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth.’” (Vatican II, DV 5)

Faith is a human act:  Believing is possible only by grace and the interior helps of the Holy Spirit.   But it is no less true, that believing is an authentically human act.   Trusting in God and cleaving to the truths He has revealed are contrary neither to human freedom nor to human reason.   Even in human relations it is not contrary to our dignity to believe what other persons tell us about themselves and their intentions or to trust their promises (for example when a man and a woman marry) to share a communion of life with one another.   If this is so, still less is it contrary to our dignity, to “yield by faith the full submission of … intellect and will to God who reveals,” (Vatican I) and to share in an interior communion with Him.

In faith, the human intellect and will, cooperate with divine grace:  “Believing is an act of the intellect, assenting to the divine truth, by command of the will, moved by God, through grace.”…St Thomas Aquinaseverything is possible - mark 9 23 - believing is an act of the will - st thomas aquinas - 5 june 2018

PRAYER – Lord, Your martyr Boniface, spread the faith by his teaching and witnessed to it with his blood.   By the help of his prayers keep us loyal to our faith and give us courage to profess it in our lives.   Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever, amen.st boniface pray for us - 5 june 2018

 

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, GOD the FATHER, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 5 June – The Memorial of St Boniface (672-754) “The Apostle of Germany”

Our Morning Offering – 5 June – The Memorial of St Boniface (672-754) “The Apostle of Germany”

Eternal God, our Refuge
By St Boniface (672-754)

Eternal God,
the refuge and help of all Your children,
we praise You
for all You have given us,
for all You have done for us,
for all that You are to us.
In our weakness,
You are strength,
in our darkness,
You are light,
in our sorrow,
You are comfort and peace.
We cannot number Your blessings,
we cannot declare Your love
For all Your blessings,
we bless You.
May we live as in Your presence,
and love the things that You love,
and serve You in our daily lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ameneternal god our refuge - st boniface - 5 june 2018

 

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 5 June – St Boniface (672-754) Martyr “The Apostle of Germany”

Saint of the Day – 5 June – St Boniface (672-754) Martyr – Bishop/Archbishop, Martyr, Missionary and Evangelist, Teacher, Writer, Preacher, Theologian, Founder of Schools, Convents, Monasteries and Churches – known as “The Apostle of Germany”.   Patron of brewers, file cutters, tailors, Germany, archdiocese of Saint-Boniface, Manitoba, Canada, diocese of Fulda, Germany. boniface

Boniface, known as the apostle of the Germans, was an English Benedictine monk who gave up being elected abbot to devote his life to the conversion of the Germanic tribes. Two characteristics stand out:  his Christian orthodoxy and his fidelity to the pope of Rome.

How absolutely necessary this orthodoxy and fidelity were is borne out by the conditions Boniface found on his first missionary journey in 719 at the request of Pope Gregory II. Paganism was a way of life.   What Christianity he did find, had either lapsed into paganism or was mixed with error.   The clergy were mainly responsible for these latter conditions since they were in many instances uneducated, lax and questionably obedient to their bishops.   In particular instances their very ordinations were questionable.

These are the conditions that Boniface was to report in 722 on his first return visit to Rome.   The Holy Father instructed him to reform the German Church.   The pope sent letters of recommendation to religious and civil leaders.   Boniface later admitted that his work would have been unsuccessful, from a human viewpoint, without a letter of safe-conduct from Charles Martel, the powerful Frankish ruler, grandfather of Charlemagne. Boniface was finally made a regional bishop and authorised to organise the whole German Church.   He was eminently successful.saint_boniface_by_cornelis_bloemaert

In the Frankish kingdom, he met great problems because of lay interference in bishops’ elections, the worldliness of the clergy and lack of papal control.

In order to restore the Germanic Church to its fidelity to Rome and to convert the pagans, Boniface had been guided by two principles.   The first was to restore the obedience of the clergy to their bishops in union with the pope of Rome.   The second, was the establishment of many houses of prayer which took the form of Benedictine monasteries. A great number of Anglo-Saxon monks and nuns followed him to the continent, where he introduced the Benedictine nuns to the active apostolate of education.

For nearly 35 years, Boniface traveled all over Germany, preaching, teaching, and building schools, monasteries, and convents.   He went to Rome to report to the pope about his work.   There, the pope ordained him bishop and told him to return to Germany to continue missionary work.   Boniface invited monks and sisters from England to come and help him.   The monastery at Fulda is probably the most famous one started by Boniface, below is the Cathedral and a Statue of him there.

 

During a final mission to the Frisians, Boniface and 53 companions were massacred while he was preparing converts for confirmation by a band of angry natives. who rushed into the church and murdered them.  Today Saint Boniface is the patron of Germany.

388px-Marteldood_van_den_H._Bonifacius
Martyrdom of St Boniface and Companions

St Boniface & the Christmas Tree
It is told that Saint Boniface, one day came upon a group of pagans gathered around a big oak tree about to sacrifice a child to the god Thor, which was represented by the tree.   To stop the sacrifice and save the child’s life Boniface felled the tree with one mighty blow of his fist.   Nearby grew a small fir tree.   The saint told the pagan worshippers that the tiny fir was the Tree of Life and stood for the eternal life of Christ . Saint Boniface also used the triangular shape of the fir tree to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.   By the 12th Century, Christmas trees were used all over Europe as a symbol of Christianity.lempertz-1040-1540-fine-art-johann-michael-wittmer-saint-boniface-felling-doboniface and the treest_boniface

More info on St Boniface here:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/06/05/saint-of-the-day-5-june-st-boniface/

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, Pope BENEDICT XVI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SPEAKING of .....

Quote/s of the Day – 25 April – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter and the Feast of St Mark the Evangelist

Quote/s of the Day – 25 April – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter and the Feast of St Mark the Evangelist

Speaking of:  Being Catholic

“I would not believe in the Gospel,
had not the authority
of the Catholic Church
already moved me.”

St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctori would not believe - st augustine - speaking of being catholic - 25 april 2018

“In her voyage,
across the ocean of this world,
the Church is like a great ship
being pounded by the waves
of life’s different stresses.
Our duty is not to abandon ship
but to keep her on her course.”

St Boniface (672-754) Father & Martyrin her voyage across the ocean - st boniface - speaking of being catholic - 25 april 2018

“Jesus is with me.
I have nothing to fear.”

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901-1925)jesus is with me - bl pier - 25 april 2018

“The Jesus of the Gospels
is surely not convenient for us.”the jesus of the gospels - pope benedict - 25 april 2018

“The Jesus who makes everything okay
for everyone is a phantom,
a dream,
not a real figure…”

Pope Benedict XVIthe jesus who makes - pope benedict - 25 april 2018

“Catholicism is a matter
of the body
and the senses,
as much as it is a matter
of the mind,
precisely because,
the Word became flesh.”catholicism is a matter - bishop barron - 25 april 2018

“Easter is an earthquake,
an explosion.
If you see it as less than that,
you’re not getting it.”

Bishop Robert Barroneaster is an earthquake - bishop barron - 25 april 2018

“At some point,
Jesus is going to call you out.
That’s what He does.”

Father Mike Schmitzat some point - fr mike schmitz - 25 april 2018

 

 

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 24 July

Our Morning Offering – 24 July

Eternal God, our Refuge

By St Boniface

Eternal God, the refuge and help of all Your children,
we praise You for all You have given us,
for all You have done for us,
for all that You are to us.
In our weakness, You are strength,
in our darkness, You are light,
in our sorrow, You are comfort and peace.
We cannot number Your blessings,
we cannot declare Your love:
For all Your blessings we bless You.
May we live as in Your presence,
and love the things that You love,
and serve You in our daily lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

eternal god our refuge-st boniface

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 5 June

Quote of the Day – 5 June

An excerpt from a letter by St. Boniface, bishop and martyr:

“Let us stand fast in what is right and prepare our souls for trial.
Let us wait upon God’s strengthening aid and say to Him:
“O Lord, you have been our refuge in all generations.”
Let us trust in Him who has placed this burden upon us.
What we ourselves cannot bear, let us bear with the help of Christ.
For He is all-powerful and He tells us:
“My yoke is easy and my burden light.”
Let us continue the fight on the day of the Lord.
The days of anguish and of tribulation have overtaken us; if God so wills,
“let us die for the holy laws of our fathers”,
so that we may deserve to obtain an eternal inheritance with them.
Let us be neither dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers nor paid servants
who run away before the wolf.
Instead let us be careful shepherds watching over Christ’s flock.
Let us preach the whole of God’s plan to the powerful and to the humble,
to rich and to poor, to men of every rank and age,
as far as God gives us the strength, in season and out of season.”

St Boniface, Pray for us!

the days of anguish and of tribulation-st boniface

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 5 June

Thought for the Day – 5 June

“Boniface, known as the apostle of the Germans, was an English Benedictine monk who gave up being elected abbot to devote his life to the conversion of the Germanic tribes. Two characteristics stand out: his Christian orthodoxy and his fidelity to the pope of Rome.

How absolutely necessary this orthodoxy and fidelity were, is borne out by the conditions Boniface found on his first missionary journey in 719 at the request of Pope Gregory II.   Paganism was a way of life.   What Christianity he did find had either lapsed into paganism or was mixed with error.   The clergy were mainly responsible for these latter conditions since they were in many instances uneducated, lax and questionably obedient to their bishops.   In particular instances their very ordinations were questionable.

These are the conditions that Boniface was to report in 722 on his first return visit to Rome.   The Holy Father instructed him to reform the German Church.   The pope sent letters of recommendation to religious and civil leaders.   Boniface later admitted that his work would have been unsuccessful, from a human viewpoint, without a letter of safe-conduct from Charles Martel, the powerful Frankish ruler, grandfather of Charlemagne. Boniface was finally made a regional bishop and authorized to organize the whole German Church. He was eminently successful.

Boniface bears out the Christian rule: To follow Christ is to follow the way of the cross.
For Boniface, it was not only physical suffering or death but the painful, thankless, bewildering task of Church reform.
Missionary glory is often thought of in terms of bringing new persons to Christ”, which he did in the thousands too.
“It seems—but is not—less glorious to heal the household of the faith.” (Fr Don Miller OFM)

So those little deeds we do in our lives and in our ‘online lives’ – they too can be seen – where we remain true to the Church and to the Holy Father and Magisterium – as following St Boniface in orthodoxy and faithfulness and contributing to the teaching of the faith.

St Boniface, pray for us!

st boniface pray for us.jpg 2

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 5 June

One Minute Reflection – 5 June

“Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”………….Luke 10:16

luke 10 16

REFLECTION – “In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life’s different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course.”……….St Boniface

in her voyage across the ocean of this world - st boniface

PRAYER – Lord Jesus, help me to remain ever faithful to Your Church. Let me aid, build up and defend her. Let me never be a cause of division and schism – for in denying the direction we receive, that is exactly what we do. Help me always Lord to remain true to the Your representative in our world. St Boniface, pray for us all and for the whole world, amen.

st boniface pray for us

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 5 June

Our Morning Offering – 5 June

Eternal God, our Refuge
By St Boniface

Eternal God,
the refuge and help of all Your children,
we praise You for all You have given us,
for all You have done for us,
for all that You are to us.
In our weakness, You are strength,
in our darkness, You are light,
in our sorrow, You are comfort and peace.
We cannot number Your blessings,
we cannot declare Your love:
For all Your blessings we bless You.
May we live as in Your presence,
and love the things that You love,
and serve You in our daily lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

eternal god our refuge-st boniface

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 5 June – St Boniface -Martyr

Saint of the Day – 5 June – St Boniface – Martyr –  born Winfrid, Wynfrith, or Wynfryth – (c.673-680 at Crediton, Devonshire, England – martyred 5 June 754 at Dokkum, Freisland (modern Nederlands) – relics interred at monastery at Fulda, Germany).  Bishop/Archbishop, Martyr, Missionary and Evangelist, Teacher, Writer, Preacher, Theologian, Founder of Schools, Convents, Monasteries and Churches – known as “The Apostle of Germany”.   Patron of brewers, file cutters, tailors, Germany, archdiocese of Saint-Boniface, Manitoba, Canada, diocese of Fulda, Germany.   Attributes book, fountain, fox, oak tree, raven, scourge, spring of water, sword, with axe in hand at the foot of an oak tree, book stabbed with a sword, cutting down a tree.

St.-Boniface-cutting-down-tree-of-Thor-1200x450

St Boniface was killed in Frisia in 754, along with 52 others.   His remains were returned to Fulda, where they rest in a sarcophagus which became a site of pilgrimage. Facts about Boniface’s life and death as well as his work became widely known, since there is a wealth of material available—a number of vitae, especially the near-contemporary Vita Bonifatii auctore Willibaldi and legal documents, possibly some sermons, and above all his correspondence.

 

 

Norman F. Cantor (Historian) notes the three roles Boniface played that made him “one of the truly outstanding creators of the first Europe, as the apostle of Germania, the reformer of the Frankish church and the chief fomentor of the alliance between the papacy and the Carolingian family.”   Through his efforts to reorganise and regulate the church of the Franks, he helped shape Western Christianity and many of the dioceses he proposed remain today.   After his martyrdom, he was quickly hailed as a saint in Fulda and other areas in Germania and in England.   His cult is still notably strong today.   Boniface is celebrated as a missionary;  he is regarded as a unifier of Europe and he is seen by Catholics as a Germanic national figure.

Born and named Winfrith in Devonshire, England, Boniface grew up in a noble family of some wealth.   As a boy Boniface begged his parents to allow him to enter the nearby monastery at Exeter following a visit by some local monks.  So impressed with their life, Boniface joined the community, learning all he could and proving himself to be an apt and scholarly student. After a short time, he transferred to a larger monastery, in Nursling and there became a well-respected teacher.

He spent the next ten years teaching and was so well respected that students traveled great distances to attend his lectures, circulating their notes throughout the whole of England.   At age thirty, Boniface was ordained a priest and began preaching, as well as teaching, with great impact.   His life, while diligent and obedient, was comfortable and he was assured continued success in the English church.   However, Winfrith felt called to missionary work.   He petitioned his abbot several times, until was finally granted leave to travel to modern-day Netherlands, to assist a missionary there, Willibrord, struggling to bring the Gospel to those there who continued to practice paganism.   Upon arriving in Friesland, Winfrith discovered that the ruler of those parts, Duke Radbold, had virtually declared war on Christianity and without support, their mission would not succeed.   Prudently, Winfrith returned to England where his community welcomed him back, attempting to elect him abbot.   He refused and instead traveled to Rome for a personal audience with the pope, hoping to secure a Papal Commission to return to Friesland.

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Pope Gregory II welcomed the adventurous and obedient servant that Winfrith had become, renaming him Boniface and providing him with a general Papal Commission to bring the Word of God “to the heathen.”   Saint Boniface set off with zeal, traveling through modern-day Germany and Bavaria, locating and working with the missionary Willibrord (who by this time was well advanced in years).   Willibrord wished for Boniface to assume his work but Boniface felt called to continue traveling deeper into non-Christian territories, asserting that his commission led him not just to one dioceses, but to all “the heathen.”

St Boniface had amazing success, converting two local chieftains who became zealous Christians, leading to the conversion of their tribes.   He was granted a plot of land, upon which he founded the monastery at Amoeneburg.   His preaching style was direct and easy to understand and he took care to incorporate local traditions—whenever possible—into his teachings.   For example, there was a local game in which they sticks called kegels were thrown at smaller sticks called heides.   Boniface bought religion to the game, having the heides represent demons and knocking them down showing purity of spirit.   However, Saint Boniface was also extremely orthodox in his teaching and would quickly point out any discrepant or pagan practices that crept into the worship of the people.   Such was his success that he was summoned by Pope Gregory II back to Rome. There, Boniface was consecrated a bishop and granted general jurisdiction over “the races in the parts of Germany and east of the Rhine who live in error, in the shadow of death.”   Gregory II also provided Boniface with a Papal Letter to Charles Martel, the duke who ruled Bavaria and had earned himself the nickname “Hammer” due to his swift and authoritarian rule and retribution.   Boniface delivered the letter on his return trip to, and was granted civil protection.   Between the commission of the pope and the support of the duke, Boniface was free to increase his efforts. He decided to drive the pagan beliefs from the region by attacking their source.

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Many in the area continued to worship Norse gods, including Thor, who were believed to reside in the forms of large stately trees.   After announcing his intentions to the tribes, who watched, awaiting the retribution of Thor, Boniface walked up to the tree, removed his shirt, took up an axe and without a word he hacked down the six foot wide wooden god.   The tree fell, splintering into four parts, upon one of which Boniface climbed, addressing the crowd that had gathered. “How stands your mighty god? My God is stronger than he.”   From his perspective, the saint could see that the fallen tree landed in the shape of the cross.   Also, the only tree spared in the area was a small fir tree, which many consider the origin of the Christmas tree.   The crowd’s reaction was amazement and confusion and conversions began.   Using the oak wood from the tree, Boniface had a chapel built on the spot, dedicated to Saint Peter.

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Boniface continued his mission across Bavaria, Germany, and Holland, encountered previous missionaries who had not remained true to the teachings of the Church.   He undertook significant Church reform, instructing the missionaries, priests, and brothers, and re-establishing obedience to the authority of the Church.   In many cases, Boniface worked with the individuals in question, not to defrock them and remove them from service—citing the increased damage that would do to the faithful—but to reform, renew and reconsecrate them to the Lord.   He was both practical and obedient, seeking the will of the Lord, the counsel of respected bishops, and the success of the growth of the one, true Church.   Following successful re-establishment of discipline and communication between these misguided missions and the Church, as well as establishing several new monastic communities, was consecrated Archbishop of the entire region.   Nearing seventy years old but no less zealous in his desire for conversion, Boniface returned to Friesland—the first place of his work in Bavaria—to minister to his first congregation who were slipping back into paganism.   He gave up his archbishopric, dressed again in the simple robes of the monk and carried with him only what he needed, including the text written by Saint Ambrose, “The Advantage of Death”.

Upon arrival at Friesland, he arranged for a group of recent converts to join him, that he might teach and Confirm them.   While waiting in his tent, reading the Bible, a group of pagans appeared in the encampment with intent to harm Boniface and his companions. His companions would have opposed them but he said, “My children, cease your resistance; Spill no useless blood.  The long-expected day is come at last.   Scripture forbids us to resist evil with evil.  Let us put our hope in God:  He will save our souls.”   He and 52 of his followers were killed.   In the moment of his death, Saint Boniface raised the Bible he was reading above his head.   The sword of his slayer passed through the Book before cleaving the blessed saint.

 

Following the departure of the pagan barbarians, a small group of Christians came to the campsite.   They carried the relics and body of Saint Boniface to the cathedral at Fulda for burial, where it remains today.   The Bible that Boniface was reading can also be found at the cathedral at Fulda.