Boniface

c. 675 – 754
Feast Date: June 5

Stained glass window of St. Boniface at St. Mary’s Church in Kickapoo, IL.

Boniface, the apostle of Germany, started out as an English monk, a popular teacher, preacher and writer who was ordained at 30. He compiled a Latin grammar and wrote many biblical instructions. But he felt called to missionary work, and in 716 landed in Friesland, now in the Netherlands. After a brief stay, he traveled to Rome, where he received a broad commission to evangelize central Germany. By 722, he had become bishop of Germany, where he organized the church and secured its ties to Rome. Later, as archbishop of Mainz and papal legate, he was asked to reform the Frankish church. The patron saint of Germany was martyred in Friesland, the missionary territory he revisited in retirement.

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