Today is the Feast of St. Boniface
(d. 754 A.D.)
St. Boniface was born to a noble Christian family in Devonshire, England. He became a Benedictine monk and devoted his life to the evangelization of the pagan Germanic tribes in what is now Germany. He went there at the request of Pope Gregory II in 719 A.D. and systematically opened up the vast tracks of wilderness to the Gospel, building on the work of the earlier Irish missionaries. St. Boniface organized the Catholic Church in Germany, instructed the faithful, and converted the pagans. He became the bishop of Mainz and founded or restored many dioceses. Working alongside him as evangelists were his nephews and niece, St. Willibald, St. Winebald, and St. Walburga, who all came from England to Germany to assist him. Legend has it that at Christmastime he chopped down a large tree which was worshiped as a god and used in child sacrifice, and the local pagans converted to Christianity as a result. Instead of worshiping the tree, St. Boniface gave them a smaller evergreen tree as a symbol of eternal life in Christ, the origin of the Christmas tree tradition. He was martyred for his faith along with 52 others as he read the Scriptures on Pentecost Sunday. St. Boniface profoundly influenced the course of German history in the Middle Ages and helped to make it a Christian nation. For his missionary work he is known as the “Apostle of Germany.” St. Boniface is the patron of tailors, brewers, and Germany.
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
St. Boniface, Evangelist and martyr, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.