By Christina Hermoso
The Roman Catholic Church honors tomorrow the life and works of Saint Boniface (San Bonifacio), a popular English Benedictine monk who helped propagate Christianity in Germany.
Venerated as the Apostle of Germany and the patron of the Netherlands, St. Boniface, who served as bishop of Germany in 722, spent 35 years helping spread Christianity and doing missionary work in Germany during the 8th century. He successfully converted thousands to the faith as he tirelessly reorganized the Church, and built churches, monasteries, and convents.
German pontiff Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said, “The testimony of Boniface is an invitation for all of us to welcome in our life the Word of God as an essential point of reference, to passionately love the Church, to feel that we are co-responsible for its future, to seek unity around the successor of St. Peter. St. Boniface’s mission to preach the Gospel to the people of Germany leaves a lesson for the faithful of today: The centrality of the Word of God and His faithful communion with the Apostolic See. It also promoted the encounter between the Roman-Christian culture and the Germanic culture.”
Born in the year 673 in England, St. Boniface was ordained priest at the age of 30. He was killed by a band of pagans in the Netherlands in 754. The monastery of Fulda in Germany, where he was buried, has preserved the book that he raised above his head to protect himself. The book was dented with sword cuts and stained with the martyr’s blood.