St. Boniface of Crediton, Apostle to the Germans
Born Wynfirth, St. Boniface (c. 675/680-c. 754/755) travelled from his
native England to evangelize the
Germanic people of Europe. He was
educated at Adescancastre (Essex) and Nhutscelle (Nursling). He became the
director of the cathedral school in Winchester and wrote the first Latin
grammar published in England. Offered the abbacy of Nhutscelle in 717, the
year after he had left England, he refused and chose to stay in Europe,
although his first mission in Frisia had not been successful. Gregory II
made him a bishop in 722 and gave him charge over Germany. Under the
protection of Charles Martel, Boniface preached successfully in Hesse,
Bavaria, Westphalia, WŁttemberg, and Thuringenland. He besought and
received missionaries from England to assist him. After the death of
Martel (741), Boniface presided over five reforming councils convoked by
Martel's heirs, Carloman and Pepin. When the latter entered a monaster in
752, Boniface crowned Pepin king of the Franks. Two years later, Boniface
resigned as archbishop of Mainz, an office he had held for ten years, to
preach again in Frisia. He was martyred on Pentecost and buried at Fulda,
which he had established in 753.
Karen Rae Keck
- ASSOCIATED PEOPLE:
Talbot translation, 1954.
Oath of Loyalty to the Pope Boniface, an Anglo-Saxon,
was strongly in favour of
canonical order and central administration
-- unlike some of his missionary colleagues who hailed from Ireland
and with whom he was often in conflict. Robinson translation.
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