St. Boniface

Bishop, Martyr

Feast Day - June 5

Boniface, originally called Winfrid, was born in England at the beginning of the seventh century. After entering a monastery and becoming a priest, he showed great skill in winning souls through preaching. Burning with zeal to spread the faith, he preached the Gospel among the Frisians. Then he returned to England, where he ruled his monastery for two years in a most holy way.

Having resigned the office of Superior, he went to Rome, where he received from Gregory II the name of Boniface and the commission to proclaim Christ to the peoples of Thuringia and Saxony. With holy Willibrord, he returned to the Frisians and preached the Gospel with great fruit. Soon he was summoned to Rome and invested with the episcopal dignity; after which, he set out once more for Germany.

There he rid Hesse and Thuringia of almost the last vestiges of idolatry. He was made apostolic delegate and Archbishop of Mainz, and he built many churches, and administered them either personally or through his disciples. At length, he went back once again to the Frisians, who had lapsed into idolatry, to preach the Gospel to them. There, with Eobanus his co-bishop and many others, he was killed in a bloody massacre near the river Born and received the crown of martyrdom. His body lies in the monastery of Fulda.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. II: Passion Sunday to August (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1850-1851.