Saint Days: Boniface, Archbishop, Missionary, and Martyr
Today, we remember St. Boniface (675-754). Originally born Winfrid, he was from Anglo-Saxon England. He had a wealthy family but decided to go into the monastic life as a Benedictine, much to the chagrin of his family. In 716 he went on a missionary trip to Frisia, a small segment of Northwest Germany where he spent a year until a war in the region forced them out.
A year later, he travelled to Rome where Pope Gregory II renamed him "Boniface" after a martyr in the fourth century. The pope consecrated him as a Bishop and appointed him missionary to Germany where he did valuable work spreading the Gospel.
In 754, he went back to Frisia. After arriving, he experienced a great deal of initial success. Unfortunately, he was murdered by a group of bandits. They expected to find expensive vestments and vessels but instead, to their disappointment, found writings of the church.
Boniface was a very wise man. He once observed, "The Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life's different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship, but to keep her on her course."
Let us remember St. Boniface in our prayers today:
Almighty God, who gave to your servant St. Boniface boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.