St. Boniface Died Today
Saint Boniface is known as the Apostle of the Germans. He was born sometime in the 670’s and the location of his birth in unknown. From a young age he showed an aptitude for learning and his parents intended for him to pursue a secular career. However, being influenced by several missionaries who had visited his home throughout his childhood, Boniface desired a religious life, and after receiving a blessing from his father, left home to pursue monasticism. Inside of the monastery he again showed his brilliant ability to learn and was offered the official position as abbot when his mentor died. Boniface denied the position because of his desire to take the gospel to the Frisians in Germany. He went to Rome to receive permission from Pope Gregory II, and upon his confirmation set out for Germany. He expected to find several strong churches already in the area that would help him in his endeavor, and instead found the church in disarray. Many of the religious leaders were untrained and lazy. There were even some who joined in the worship of idols. This had led the people to act in all kinds of immoral and worldly ways. For the next thirty-five years Boniface worked for reform inside of the church in Germany and with great success. The rule of St. Benedictine was made the religious norm. Religious principles were established for priests. Several synods were held to hammer out theological stances on issues. The entire country experienced a revival of Christian morality and practice. Upon seeing that many had come to Christ and that the church had taken many steps towards reform, Boniface asked for permission to continue his original mission of thirty-five years ago and take the gospel to the Frisians. He was released from his responsibility as bishop from the Pope, and he left for the mission field again. The Frisians responded to the gospel and many came to salvation. However, on June 5, 755 while he was baptizing many converts to the faith, a band of armed inhabitants fell upon them and killed Boniface. The Christians returned to find the body of the martyr and a bloodstained copy of St. Ambrose on the “Advantage of Death” lying beside him.