June 5, memorial

Position: archbishop and martyr OSB

Death: 754

Patron: Germany, especially the Diocese of Fulda and Thuringia; brewers, tailors, and booksellers

Attributes: bishop, rebuke, raven, book, fox, sword, spring, axe, tree


After entering the monastery, he desired to become a missionary among the pagans. He became the spreader of the true faith among the Germanic peoples. He founded monasteries and centers of Christian education and religion. He succeeded because he combined his knowledge with deep piety, love for souls, obedience, and devotion to the papal see. He also became Legate for Germany and Metropolitan of Cologne. When he was about to administer the sacrament of confirmation in the territory of Northern Holland, he was killed with 52 companions by a crowd of armed pagans.



He was born around 673 in Kirkton, near Exeter, in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex in today’s southern England. Winfried was baptized. In his youth, he loved solitude and, according to his wish, was brought up in a Benedictine monastery at Exeter. He spent 13 years there and then moved to the monastery at Nursling in Southampton shire, where he took the Benedictine habit after taking his vows. He began studying theology simultaneously and focused on science until age 40. He mastered Latin and also excelled in the art of poetry. He ran a monastery school for some time. He compiled a grammar textbook and a poetry manual. When he was about 30 years old, he received the sacrament of priesthood. He became zealous in the pulpit and the confessional.

Three loves stood out in his life—characteristic features of Benedictines: love for writing, missionary activity, and the Roman successor of St. Peter.

According to some reports, he got the name Boniface only from Pope Gregory II. In 716, after he was forty, he set out with three companions on the European mainland to preach the Gospel in pagan Frisia. He came to the Germanic tribe in today’s Holland and northwestern Germany. The Franks there ruled the Frisians, who rebelled against them, and in such a situation, missionary work seemed impossible.

Winfried returned to Nursling and was elected abbot. However, he soon renounced the rank and obtained from the bishop of Winchester the appointment of Stephen and permission to go to Rome. He longed for the Pope’s blessing to evangelize the Germans. Gregory II kept him with him for about a year, and in mid-May 719, he entrusted him with preaching the Gospel among the Germans and gave him the name of the martyr Boniface.

Boniface came to the Frisians through Thuringia and with his native Wilford (pam. 7. 11.), and they were relatively successful. Then, Boniface was sent by the Pope to Hesse in the middle Rhineland. He saw that winning the ruling circles and installing a bishop was necessary there. He therefore turned to the Pope, who invited him to Rome to consecrate him as a bishop for the Germanic regions in the territory of present-day Germany. This happened on November 30, 722. The Pope also gave Boniface letters of recommendation for the critical Frankish butler Karl Martel and the princes of Thuringia and Saxony. With the help of Anglo-Saxon clergy members, Boniface began to find monasteries as bastions of Christianity. He went again to Hesse, where many Christians again turned to superstitions, witchcraft, and making sacrifices to idols.

The villagers of Frizzled near Geismar had a massive oak tree dedicated to the thunder lord Thor as their front deity. Boniface decided to cut him down and cut him down. The people waited in horror to see what would happen, and when Thor proved powerless against Boniface, the people went over to Boniface’s side. He also built the chapel of St. From the wood of the felled tree. Peter. Then, in Thuringia, he solved the problems of priests’ insufficient education and shortcomings in faith. In Oar, he founded two monasteries for the education of youth. In 725, he begged for more priests and expanded the number of his collaborators.

Pope Gregory III. In 732, Boniface was appointed as archbishop with the authority to consecrate other bishops. Six years later, Boniface visited Rome for the third time, and before returning to the mission, the Pope appointed him his legate for a wide mission area. His task included reforming the Frankish clergy and building church organizations in Bavaria, Hesse, and Thuringia. This was needed because the local feudal lords wanted to appoint their people to church ranks. Karel Martel was only partially inclined towards him and did not want to have an understanding of a church organization subject to Rome. Only after 741, when his sons took over, did they manage to change the situation. In 743, they began to convene church synods, which prepared the pastoral renewal of the Frankish Empire. It was decided to establish the ecclesiastical metropolis in Cologne, and Boniface became the first metropolitan. In 744, an important monastery was founded in Fulda, which later contributed to the continuation of Boniface’s work. In 747, Carlo, a man who ruled the eastern regions, gave up his rule in favor of his brother Pippin the Short, who then ruled the entire Frankish Empire and is said to have behaved with restraint towards Boniface. By now, he was approaching eighty and had handed over the archbishopric to Lull. However, his missionary zeal did not leave him, and he visited the first regions of his work. He was preparing confirmation at Dokum and was ambushed by a group of militant pagans, who murdered not only him but also the entire group of his 52 companions.

The Christians transported him to Utrecht in the territory of today’s Holland, where they buried him in the cathedral there. However, his remains were eventually transferred to the monastery in Fulda by Abbot Sturm (17.12.).


I will ask for blessings from others around me today and get used to blessing at least my loved ones.

God, You strengthened the holy bishop Boniface to proclaim the truths of the Gospel and did not hesitate to seal his faith with his blood; through his intercession, help us to keep the faith we have accepted and to live according to it. Through Your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, for He lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever.

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