Saint for the Day - June 5 - St. Boniface
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 Catholics, 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.
Saint for the Day - St. Boniface
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