Today we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Boniface.
Here's what you need to know...
TO GERMANIA AND BEYOND
St. Boniface was born Winfred around the year 675, in England. Against his wealthy family's wishes he devoted himself to monastic life at an early age.
He became a Benedictine monk and excelled in his work. He was elected abbott, but declined the opportunity to pursue mission work in Germania.
Germania at the time was ruled by warring tribes. Boniface arrived to find some Christianity but most of it was falsely intertwined with paganism.
Right away Boniface set out to challenge the pagans and their gods by chopping down their Thor's Oak - a sacred tree of the Germanic pagans. When their god did not strike him down, the people were amazed and converted to Christianity. He built a chapel dedicated to St. Peter from its wood at the site.
RESTORING THE GERMAN CHURCH
Boniface never returned to England. He spent the rest of his life traveling through out Germania reforming the German Church.
Their was an abundance of uneducated, lax, and disobedient clergy contributing to most of the problems. So, Boniface began re-establishing papal control and re-instituting orthodoxy in the clergy. He set up many monasteries and learning institutions to better equip people for religious life too.
He preached wherever he went and converted thousands personally, and many many more as a result of his reform.
In 732, he was named an Archbishop by Pope Gregory III.
In 754, while on mission in Frisia an aged Boniface and his followers were killed by local armed robbers.
Veneration of Boniface began immediately after his death.
St. Boniface is known as the "Apostle of the Germans".
He is also the Patron Saint of brewers, tailors, and file-cutters.
He is often depicted in bishop's robes with a book pierced by a sword.
His emblems are the oak, axe, book, fox, scourge, fountain, raven, and sword.
His Feast Day is today, June 5th.
HAPPY FEAST DAY!
St. Boniface, ora pro nobis.