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ST. BONIFACE was born at Crediton in Devonshire, England, in the year 680. Some missionaries staying at his father's house spoke to him of heavenly things, and inspired him with a wish to devote himself, as they did, to God. He entered the monastery of Exminster, and was there trained for his apostolic work. His first attempt to convert the pagans in Holland having failed, he went to Rome to obtain the Pope's blessing on his mission, and returned with authority to preach to the German tribes. It was a slow and dangerous task; his own life was in constant peril, while his flock was often reduced to abject poverty by the wandering robber bands. Yet his courage never flagged. He began with Bavaria and Thuringia, next visited Friesland, then passed on to Hesse and Saxony, everywhere destroying the idol temples and raising churches on their site. He endeavored, as far as possible, to make every object of idolatry contribute in some way to the glory of God; on one occasion, having cut down on immense oak which was consecrated to Jupiter, he used the tree in building a church, which he dedicated to the Prince of the Apostles. He was now recalled to Rome, consecrated Bishop by the Pope, and returned to extend and organize the rising German Church. With diligent care he reformed abuses among the existing clergy, and established religious houses throughout the land. At length, feeling his infirmities increase, and fearful of losing his martyr's crown, Boniface appointed a successor to his monastery, and set out to convert a fresh pagan tribe. While St. Boniface was waiting to administer Confirmation to some newly-baptized Christians, a troop of pagans arrived, armed with swords and spears. His attendants would have opposed them, but the Saint said to his followers: "My children, cease your resistance; the long-expected day is come at last. Scripture forbids us to resist evil. Let us put our hope in God: He will save our souls." Scarcely had he ceased speaking, when the barbarians fell upon him and slew him with all his attendants, to the number of fifty-two.
Reflection. —St. Boniface teaches us how the love of Christ changes all things. It was for Christ's sake that he toiled for souls, preferring poverty to riches, labor to rest, suffering to pleasure, death to life, that by dying he might live with Christ.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
He fed them with the fat of wheat, alleluia; and filled them with honey out of the rock, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 80, 3. Rejoice to God our helper; sing aloud to the God of Jacob. Glory be …
O God, Who didst give the Holy Spirit of Thine apostles, grant to Thy people the effect of their pious petition, and, as Thou hast given us faith, bestow also upon us peace. Through… in the unity of the same.
Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles.
[Cornelius is received into the church. Peter's vision.]
In those days, Peter opening his mouth, said: men, brethren, the Lord commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is he who was appointed by God, to be judge of the living and of the dead. To him all the prophets give testimony, that by his name all receive remission of sins, who believe in him. While Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the word. And the faithful of the circumcision, who came with Peter, were astonished, for that the grace of the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the Gentiles also.
For they heard them speaking with tongues, and magnifying God. Then Peter answered: Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost, as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Alleluia, alleluia. Acts 2, 4. The apostles spoke in divers tongues the wonderful works of God. Alleluia. (here all kneel). Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful; and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John.
[Christ's discourse with Nicodemus. John's testimony.]
At that time, Jesus said to Nicodemus, God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him. He that believeth in him is not judged. But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil. For every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved. But he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they are done in God.
The Lord thundered from heaven, and the Highest gave His voice; and the fountains of waters appeared, alleluia.
Graciously sanctify these gifts, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and, accepting the offering of the spiritual sacrifice, perfect us as eternal offering to Thee. Through… in the unity of the same.
The Holy Ghost shall teach you, alleluia, whatsoever I shall have said to you, alleluia, Alleluia.
Be present, we beseech Thee, O Lord, with Thy people and defend against the fury of the enemy those whom Thou hast imbued with heavenly mysteries. Through… in the unity of the same.