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Saint Boniface

"Boniface" redirects here. For other uses, see Boniface (disambiguation).
For other uses, see Saint Boniface (disambiguation).

Boniface (Latin: Bonifatius; c. 675 – 5 June 754), born in the Crediton in Anglo-Saxon England, was a leading figure in the Anglo-Saxon mission to the Germanic parts of the Frankish Empire during the 8th century. He organised significant foundations of the church in Germany and was made archbishop of Mainz by Pope Gregory III. He was martyred in Frisia in 754, along with 52 others, and his remains were returned to Fulda, where they rest in a sarcophagus which became a site of pilgrimage. Boniface's life and death as well as his work became widely known, there being a wealth of material available—a number of vitae, especially the near-contemporary Vita Bonifatii auctore Willibaldi, legal documents, possibly some sermons, and above all his correspondence. He is venerated as a saint in the Christian church and became the patron saint of Germania, known as the "Apostle to the Germans".


Boniface
Saint Boniface by Cornelis Bloemaert, c. 1630
Bishop
Apostle to the Germans
Bornc. 675
Crediton, Devon
Died5 June 754 (aged c. 79)
near Dokkum, Frisia
Venerated inCatholic Church
Orthodox Church
Anglican Communion
Lutheranism
Major shrineFulda Cathedral, St Boniface Catholic Church, Crediton, UK
Feast5 June
AttributesIn bishop's robes, book pierced by a sword (also axe; oak; scourge)
PatronageFulda; Germania; England (Orthodox Church; jointly with Ss. Augustine of Canterbury, and Cuthbert of Lindisfarne. The Orthodox Church also recognises him as patron Saint of Germany); Devon

Norman F. Cantor notes the three roles Boniface played that made him "one of the truly outstanding creators of the first Europe, as the apostle of Germania, the reformer of the Frankish church, and the chief fomentor of the alliance between the papacy and the Carolingian family." Through his efforts to reorganize and regulate the church of the Franks, he helped shape the Latin Church in Europe, and many of the dioceses he proposed remain today. After his martyrdom, he was quickly hailed as a saint in Fulda and other areas in Germania and in England. He is still venerated strongly today by German Catholics. Boniface is celebrated as a missionary; he is regarded as a unifier of Europe, and he is regarded by German Catholics as a national figure. In 2019 Devon County Council with the support of the Anglican and Catholic churches in Exeter and Plymouth, officially recognised St Boniface as the Patron Saint of Devon.

Contents

Prayer card, early 20th century, depicting Boniface leaving England

The earliest Bonifacian vita, Willibald's, does not mention his place of birth but says that at an early age he attended a monastery ruled by Abbot Wulfhard in escancastre, or Examchester, which seems to denote Exeter, and may have been one of many monasteriola built by local landowners and churchmen; nothing else is known of it outside the Bonifacian vitae. This monastery is believed to have occupied the site of the Church of St Mary Major in the City of Exeter, demolished in 1971, next to which was later built Exeter Cathedral. Later tradition places his birth at Crediton, but the earliest mention of Crediton in connection to Boniface is from the early fourteenth century, in John Grandisson's Legenda Sanctorum: The Proper Lessons for Saints' Days according to the use of Exeter. In one of his letters Boniface mentions he was "born and reared...[in] the synod of London", but he may have been speaking metaphorically.

According to the vitae, Winfrid was of a respected and prosperous family. Against his father's wishes he devoted himself at an early age to the monastic life. He received further theological training in the Benedictine monastery and minster of Nhutscelle (Nursling), not far from Winchester, which under the direction of abbot Winbert had grown into an industrious centre of learning in the tradition of Aldhelm. Winfrid taught in the abbey school and at the age of 30 became a priest; in this time, he wrote a Latin grammar, the Ars Grammatica, besides a treatise on verse and some Aldhelm-inspired riddles. While little is known about Nursling outside of Boniface's vitae, it seems clear that the library there was significant. To supply Boniface with the materials he needed, it would have contained works by Donatus, Priscian, Isidore, and many others. Around 716, when his abbot Wynberth of Nursling died, he was invited (or expected) to assume his position—it is possible that they were related, and the practice of hereditary right among the early Anglo-Saxons would affirm this. Winfrid, however, declined the position and in 716 set out on a missionary expedition to Frisia.

Saint Boniface felling Donar's Oak

Boniface first left for the continent in 716. He traveled to Utrecht, where Willibrord, the "Apostle to the Frisians," had been working since the 690s. He spent a year with Willibrord, preaching in the countryside, but their efforts were frustrated by the war then being carried on between Charles Martel and Radbod, King of the Frisians. Willibrord fled to the abbey he had founded in Echternach (in modern-day Luxembourg) while Boniface returned to Nursling.

Boniface returned to the continent the next year and went straight to Rome, where Pope Gregory II renamed him "Boniface", after the (legendary) fourth-century martyr Boniface of Tarsus, and appointed him missionary bishop for Germania—he became a bishop without a diocese for an area that lacked any church organization. He would never return to England, though he remained in correspondence with his countrymen and kinfolk throughout his life.

According to the vitae Boniface felled the Donar Oak, Latinized by Willibald as "Jupiter's oak," near the present-day town of Fritzlar in northern Hesse. According to his early biographer Willibald, Boniface started to chop the oak down, when suddenly a great wind, as if by miracle, blew the ancient oak over. When the gods did not strike him down, the people were amazed and converted to Christianity. He built a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter from its wood at the site—the chapel was the beginning of the monastery in Fritzlar. This account from the vita is stylized to portray Boniface as a singular character who alone acts to root out paganism. Lutz von Padberg and others point out that what the vitae leave out is that the action was most likely well-prepared and widely publicized in advance for maximum effect, and that Boniface had little reason to fear for his personal safety since the Frankish fortified settlement of Büraburg was nearby. According to Willibald, Boniface later had a church with an attached monastery built in Fritzlar, on the site of the previously built chapel, according to tradition.

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Fulda Sacramentary, Saint Boniface baptizing (top) and being martyred (bottom)

The support of the Frankish mayors of the palace (maior domos), and later the early Pippinid and Carolingian rulers, was essential for Boniface's work. Boniface had been under the protection of Charles Martel from 723 on. The Christian Frankish leaders desired to defeat their rival power, the pagan Saxons, and to incorporate the Saxon lands into their own growing empire. Boniface's campaign of destruction of indigenous Germanic pagan sites may have benefited the Franks in their campaign against the Saxons.

In 732, Boniface traveled again to Rome to report, and Pope Gregory III conferred upon him the pallium as archbishop with jurisdiction over what is now Germany. Boniface again set out for the German lands and continued his mission, but also used his authority to work on the relations between the papacy and the Frankish church. Rome wanted more control over that church, which it felt was much too independent and which, in the eyes of Boniface, was subject to worldly corruption. Charles Martel, after having defeated the forces of the Umayyad Caliphate during the Battle of Tours (732), had rewarded many churches and monasteries with lands, but typically his supporters who held church offices were allowed to benefit from those possessions. Boniface would have to wait until the 740s before he could try to address this situation, in which Frankish church officials were essentially sinecures, and the church itself paid little heed to Rome. During his third visit to Rome in 737–38, he was made papal legate for Germany.

After Boniface's third trip to Rome, Charles Martel established four dioceses in Bavaria (Salzburg, Regensburg, Freising, and Passau) and gave them to Boniface as archbishop and metropolitan over all Germany east of the Rhine. In 745, he was granted Mainz as metropolitan see. In 742, one of his disciples, Sturm (also known as Sturmi, or Sturmius), founded the abbey of Fulda not far from Boniface's earlier missionary outpost at Fritzlar. Although Sturm was the founding abbot of Fulda, Boniface was very involved in the foundation. The initial grant for the abbey was signed by Carloman, the son of Charles Martel, and a supporter of Boniface's reform efforts in the Frankish church. Boniface himself explained to his old friend, Daniel of Winchester, that without the protection of Charles Martel he could "neither administer his church, defend his clergy, nor prevent idolatry".

According to German historian Gunther Wolf, the high point of Boniface's career was the Concilium Germanicum, organized by Carloman in an unknown location in April 743. Although Boniface was not able to safeguard the church from property seizures by the local nobility, he did achieve one goal, the adoption of stricter guidelines for the Frankish clergy, who often hailed directly from the nobility. After Carloman's resignation in 747 he maintained a sometimes turbulent relationship with the king of the Franks, Pepin; the claim that he would have crowned Pepin at Soissons in 751 is now generally discredited.

Boniface balanced this support and attempted to maintain some independence, however, by attaining the support of the papacy and of the Agilolfing rulers of Bavaria. In Frankish, Hessian, and Thuringian territory, he established the dioceses of Würzburg and Erfurt. By appointing his own followers as bishops, he was able to retain some independence from the Carolingians, who most likely were content to give him leeway as long as Christianity was imposed on the Saxons and other Germanic tribes.

Saint Boniface crypt, Fulda
Nailhole in the Ragyndrudis Codex

According to the vitae, Boniface had never relinquished his hope of converting the Frisians, and in 754 he set out with a retinue for Frisia. He baptized a great number and summoned a general meeting for confirmation at a place not far from Dokkum, between Franeker and Groningen. Instead of his converts, however, a group of armed robbers appeared who slew the aged archbishop. The vitae mention that Boniface persuaded his (armed) comrades to lay down their arms: "Cease fighting. Lay down your arms, for we are told in Scripture not to render evil for evil but to overcome evil by good."

Having killed Boniface and his company, the Frisian bandits ransacked their possessions but found that the company's luggage did not contain the riches they had hoped for: "they broke open the chests containing the books and found, to their dismay, that they held manuscripts instead of gold vessels, pages of sacred texts instead of silver plates." They attempted to destroy these books, the earliest vita already says, and this account underlies the status of the Ragyndrudis Codex, now held as a Bonifacian relic in Fulda, and supposedly one of three books found on the field by the Christians who inspected it afterward. Of those three books, the Ragyndrudis Codex shows incisions that could have been made by sword or axe; its story appears confirmed in the Utrecht hagiography, the Vita altera, which reports that an eye-witness saw that the saint at the moment of death held up a gospel as spiritual protection. The story was later repeated by Otloh's vita; at that time, the Ragyndrudis Codex seems to have been firmly connected to the martyrdom.

Boniface's remains were moved from the Frisian countryside to Utrecht, and then to Mainz, where sources contradict each other regarding the behavior of Lullus, Boniface's successor as archbishop of Mainz. According to Willibald's vita Lullus allowed the body to be moved to Fulda, while the (later) Vita Sturmi, a hagiography of Sturm by Eigil of Fulda, Lullus attempted to block the move and keep the body in Mainz.

His remains were eventually buried in the abbey church of Fulda after resting for some time in Utrecht, and they are entombed within a shrine beneath the high altar of Fulda Cathedral, previously the abbey church. There is good reason to believe that the Gospel he held up was the Codex Sangallensis 56, which shows damage to the upper margin, which has been cut back as a form of repair.

Fulda

Veneration of Boniface in Fulda began immediately after his death; his grave was equipped with a decorative tomb around ten years after his burial, and the grave and relics became the center of the abbey. Fulda monks prayed for newly elected abbots at the grave site before greeting them, and every Monday the saint was remembered in prayer, the monks prostrating themselves and reciting Psalm 50. After the abbey church was rebuilt to become the Ratgar Basilica (dedicated 791), Boniface's remains were translated to a new grave: since the church had been enlarged, his grave, originally in the west, was now in the middle; his relics were moved to a new apse in 819. From then on Boniface, as patron of the abbey, was regarded as both spiritual intercessor for the monks and legal owner of the abbey and its possessions, and all donations to the abbey were done in his name. He was honored on the date of his martyrdom, 5 June (with a mass written by Alcuin), and (around the year 1000) with a mass dedicated to his appointment as bishop, on 1 December.

Dokkum

Willibald's vita describes how a visitor on horseback came to the site of the martyrdom, and a hoof of his horse got stuck in the mire. When it was pulled loose, a well sprang up. By the time of the Vita altera Bonifatii (9th century), there was a church on the site, and the well had become a "fountain of sweet water" used to sanctify people. The Vita Liudgeri, a hagiographical account of the work of Ludger, describes how Ludger himself had built the church, sharing duties with two other priests. According to James Palmer, the well was of great importance since the saint's body was hundreds of miles away; the physicality of the well allowed for an ongoing connection with the saint. In addition, Boniface signified Dokkum's and Frisia's "connect[ion] to the rest of (Frankish) Christendom".

Saint Boniface memorial in Fritzlar, Germany
Statue of St. Boniface at the Mainz Cathedral

Saint Boniface's feast day is celebrated on 5 June in the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Anglican Communion and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

A famous statue of Saint Boniface stands on the grounds of Mainz Cathedral, seat of the archbishop of Mainz. A more modern rendition stands facing St. Peter's Church of Fritzlar.

The UK National Shrine is located at the Catholic church at Crediton, Devon, which has a bas-relief of the felling of Thor's Oak, by sculptor Kenneth Carter. The sculpture was unveiled by Princess Margaret in his native Crediton, located in Newcombes Meadow Park. There is also a series of paintings there by Timothy Moore. There are quite a few churches dedicated to St. Boniface in the United Kingdom: Bunbury, Cheshire; Chandler's Ford and Southampton Hampshire; Adler Street, London; Papa Westray, Orkney; St Budeaux, Plymouth (now demolished); Bonchurch, Isle of Wight; Cullompton, Devon.

Bishop George Errington founded St Boniface's Catholic College, Plymouth in 1856. The school celebrates Saint Boniface on 5 June each year.

In 1818, Father Norbert Provencher founded a mission on the east bank of the Red River in what was then Rupert's Land, building a log church and naming it after St. Boniface. The log church was consecrated as Saint Boniface Cathedral after Provencher was himself consecrated as a bishop and the diocese was formed. The community that grew around the cathedral eventually became the city of Saint Boniface, which merged into the city of Winnipeg in 1971. In 1844, four Grey Nuns arrived by canoe in Manitoba, and in 1871, built Western Canada's first hospital: St. Boniface Hospital, where the Assiniboine and Red Rivers meet. Today, St. Boniface is regarded as Winnipeg's main French-speaking district and the centre of the Franco-Manitobain community, and St. Boniface Hospital is the second-largest hospital in Manitoba.

Boniface (Wynfrith) of Crediton is remembered in the Church of England with a Lesser Festival on 1 June.

Some traditions credit Saint Boniface with the invention of the Christmas tree. The vitae mention nothing of the sort. However, it is mentioned on a BBC-Devon website, in an account which places Geismar in Bavaria, and in a number of educational books, including St. Boniface and the Little Fir Tree, The Brightest Star of All: Christmas Stories for the Family, The American normal readers. and a short story by Henry van Dyke, "The First Christmas Tree".

Saint Boniface statue in Fulda, Germany

Vitae

The earliest "Life" of Boniface was written by a certain Willibald, an Anglo-Saxon priest who came to Mainz after Boniface's death, around 765. Willibald's biography was widely dispersed; Levison lists some forty manuscripts. According to his lemma, a group of four manuscripts including Codex Monacensis 1086 are copies directly from the original.

Listed second in Levison's edition is the entry from a late ninth-century Fulda document: Boniface's status as a martyr is attested by his inclusion in the Fulda Martyrology which also lists, for instance, the date (1 November) of his translation in 819, when the Fulda Cathedral had been rebuilt. A Vita Bonifacii was written in Fulda in the ninth century, possibly by Candidus of Fulda, but is now lost.

The next vita, chronologically, is the Vita altera Bonifatii auctore Radbodo, which originates in the Bishopric of Utrecht, and was probably revised by Radboud of Utrecht (899–917). Mainly agreeing with Willibald, it adds an eye-witness who presumably saw the martyrdom at Dokkum. The Vita tertia Bonifatii likewise originates in Utrecht. It is dated between 917 (Radboud's death) and 1075, the year Adam of Bremen wrote his Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, which used the Vita tertia.

A later vita, written by Otloh of St. Emmeram (1062–1066), is based on Willibald's and a number of other vitae as well as the correspondence, and also includes information from local traditions.

Correspondence

Boniface engaged in regular correspondence with fellow churchmen all over Western Europe, including the three popes he worked with, and with some of his kinsmen back in England. Many of these letters contain questions about church reform and liturgical or doctrinal matters. In most cases, what remains is one half of the conversation, either the question or the answer. The correspondence as a whole gives evidence of Boniface's widespread connections; some of the letters also prove an intimate relationship especially with female correspondents.

There are 150 letters in what is generally called the Bonifatian correspondence, though not all them are by Boniface or addressed to him. They were assembled by order of archbishop Lullus, Boniface's successor in Mainz, and were initially organized into two parts, a section containing the papal correspondence and another with his private letters. They were reorganized in the eighth century, in a roughly chronological ordering. Otloh of St. Emmeram, who worked on a new vita of Boniface in the eleventh century, is credited with compiling the complete correspondence as we have it.

The correspondence was edited and published already in the seventeenth century, by Nicolaus Serarius. Stephan Alexander Würdtwein's 1789 edition, Epistolae S. Bonifacii Archiepiscopi Magontini, was the basis for a number of (partial) translations in the nineteenth century. The first version to be published by Monumenta Germaniae Historica (MGH) was the edition by Ernst Dümmler (1892); the most authoritative version until today is Michael Tangl's 1912 Die Briefe des Heiligen Bonifatius, Nach der Ausgabe in den Monumenta Germaniae Historica, published by MGH in 1916. This edition is the basis of Ephraim Emerton's selection and translation in English, The Letters of Saint Boniface, first published in New York in 1940; it was republished most recently with a new introduction by Thomas F.X. Noble in 2000.

Included among his letters and dated to 716 is one to Abbess Edburga of Minster-in-Thanet containing the Vision of the Monk of Wenlock. This otherworld vision describes how a violently ill monk is freed from his body and guided by angels to a place of judgment, where angels and devils fight over his soul as his sins and virtues come alive to accuse and defend him. He sees a hell of purgation full of pits vomiting flames. There is a bridge over a pitch-black boiling river. Souls either fall from it or safely reach the other side cleansed of their sins. This monk even sees some of his contemporary monks and is told to warn them to repent before they die. This vision bears signs of influence by the Apocalypse of Paul, the visions from the Dialogues of Gregory the Great, and the visions recorded by Bede.

Sermons

Some fifteen preserved sermons are traditionally associated with Boniface, but that they were actually his is not generally accepted.

Grammar and poetry

Early in his career, before he left for the continent, Boniface wrote the Ars Bonifacii, a grammatical treatise presumably for his students in Nursling. Helmut Gneuss reports that one manuscript copy of the treatise originates from (the south of) England, mid-eighth century; it is now held in Marburg, in the Hessisches Staatsarchiv. He also wrote a treatise on verse, the Caesurae uersuum, and a collection of twenty acrostic riddles, the Enigmata, influenced greatly by Aldhelm and containing many references to works of Vergil (the Aeneid, the Georgics, and the Eclogues). The riddles fall into two sequences of ten poems. The first, De virtutibus ('on the virtues'), comprises: 1. de ueritate/truth; 2. de fide catholica/the Catholic faith; 3. de spe/hope; 4. de misericordia/compassion; 5. de caritate/love; 6. de iustitia/justice; 7. de patientia/patience; 8. de pace uera, cristiana/true, Christian peace; 9. de humilitate cristiania/Christian humility; 10. de uirginitate/virginity. The second sequence, De vitiis ('on the vices'), comprises: 1. de neglegentia/carelessness; 2. de iracundia/hot temper; 3. de cupiditate/greed; 4. de superbia/pride; 5. de crapula/intemperance; 6. de ebrietate/drunkenness; 7. de luxoria/fornication; 8. de inuidia/envy; 9. de ignorantia/ignorance; 10. de uana gloria/vainglory.

Three octosyllabic poems written in clearly Aldhelmian fashion (according to Andy Orchard) are preserved in his correspondence, all composed before he left for the continent.

Additional materials

A letter by Boniface charging Aldebert and Clement with heresy is preserved in the records of the Roman Council of 745 that condemned the two. Boniface had an interest in the Irish canon law collection known as Collectio canonum Hibernensis, and a late 8th/early 9th-century manuscript in Würzburg contains, besides a selection from the Hibernensis, a list of rubrics that mention the heresies of Clemens and Aldebert. The relevant folios containing these rubrics were most likely copied in Mainz, Würzburg, or Fulda—all places associated with Boniface. Michael Glatthaar suggested that the rubrics should be seen as Boniface's contribution to the agenda for a synod.

Boniface's death (and birth) has given rise to a number of noteworthy celebrations. The dates for some of these celebrations have undergone some changes: in 1805, 1855, and 1905 (and in England in 1955) anniversaries were calculated with Boniface's death dated in 755, according to the "Mainz tradition"; in Mainz, Michael Tangl's dating of the martyrdom in 754 was not accepted until after 1955. Celebrations in Germany centered on Fulda and Mainz, in the Netherlands on Dokkum and Utrecht, and in England on Crediton and Exeter.

Celebrations in Germany: 1805, 1855, 1905

Medal minted for the Boniface anniversary in Fulda, 1905

The first German celebration on a fairly large scale was held in 1805 (the 1,050th anniversary of his death), followed by a similar celebration in a number of towns in 1855; both of these were predominantly Catholic affairs emphasizing the role of Boniface in German history. But if the celebrations were mostly Catholic, in the first part of the 19th century the respect for Boniface in general was an ecumenical affair, with both Protestants and Catholics praising Boniface as a founder of the German nation, in response to the German nationalism that arose after the Napoleonic era came to an end. The second part of the 19th century saw increased tension between Catholics and Protestants; for the latter, Martin Luther had become the model German, the founder of the modern nation, and he and Boniface were in direct competition for the honor. In 1905, when strife between Catholic and Protestant factions had eased (one Protestant church published a celebratory pamphlet, Gerhard Ficker's Bonifatius, der "Apostel der Deutschen"), there were modest celebrations and a publication for the occasion on historical aspects of Boniface and his work, the 1905 Festgabe by Gregor Richter and Carl Scherer. In all, the content of these early celebrations showed evidence of the continuing question about the meaning of Boniface for Germany, though the importance of Boniface in cities associated with him was without question.

1954 celebrations

In 1954, celebrations were widespread in England, Germany, and the Netherlands, and a number of these celebrations were international affairs. Especially in Germany, these celebrations had a distinctly political note to them and often stressed Boniface as a kind of founder of Europe, such as when Konrad Adenauer, the (Catholic) German chancellor, addressed a crowd of 60,000 in Fulda, celebrating the feast day of the saint in a European context: "Das, was wir in Europa gemeinsam haben, [ist] gemeinsamen Ursprungs" ("What we have in common in Europe comes from the same source").

1980 papal visit

When Pope John Paul II visited Germany in November 1980, he spent two days in Fulda (17 and 18 November). He celebrated Mass in Fulda Cathedral with 30,000 gathered on the square in front of the building, and met with the German Bishops' Conference (held in Fulda since 1867). The pope next celebrated mass outside the cathedral, in front of an estimated crowd of 100,000, and hailed the importance of Boniface for German Christianity: "Der heilige Bonifatius, Bischof und Märtyrer, bedeutet den 'Anfang' des Evangeliums und der Kirche in Eurem Land" ("The holy Boniface, bishop and martyr, signifies the beginning of the gospel and the church in your country"). A photograph of the pope praying at Boniface's grave became the centerpiece of a prayer card distributed from the cathedral.

2004 celebrations

In 2004, anniversary celebrations were held throughout Northwestern Germany and Utrecht, and Fulda and Mainz—generating a great amount of academic and popular interest. The event occasioned a number of scholarly studies, esp. biographies (for instance, by Auke Jelsma in Dutch, Lutz von Padberg in German, and Klaas Bruinsma in Frisian), and a fictional completion of the Boniface correspondence (Lutterbach, Mit Axt und Evangelium). A German musical proved a great commercial success, and in the Netherlands an opera was staged.

There is an extensive body of literature on the saint and his work. At the time of the various anniversaries, edited collections were published containing essays by some of the best-known scholars of the time, such as the 1954 collection Sankt Bonifatius: Gedenkgabe zum Zwölfhundertsten Todestag and the 2004 collection Bonifatius—Vom Angelsächsischen Missionar zum Apostel der Deutschen. In the modern era, Lutz von Padberg published a number of biographies and articles on the saint focusing on his missionary praxis and his relics. The most authoritative biography remains Theodor Schieffer's Winfrid-Bonifatius und die Christliche Grundlegung Europas (1954).

Notes

  1. Boniface, Saint. 3 (15th ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 1974. pp. 31–32. ISBN 0-85229-305-4.
  2. Aherne, Consuelo Maria. "Saint Boniface". Britannica. Retrieved20 September 2016.
  3. Cantor 167-68.
  4. Levison 6.
  5. Talbot 28.
  6. Schieffer 76–77; 103–105.
  7. St Mary Major – Cathedral Yard, Exeter Memories website, 2015
  8. Orme 97; Hockey 106.
  9. Levison xxix.
  10. Emerton 81.
  11. Flechner 47.
  12. Levison 9.
  13. Schieffer 105–106.
  14. Gneuss 38.
  15. Gneuss 37–40.
  16. Yorke.
  17. Levison 31–32.
  18. von Padberg 40–41.
  19. Levison 35.
  20. Rau 494 n.10.
  21. Greenaway 25.
  22. Moore.
  23. Good.
  24. Wolf 2–5.
  25. Wolf 5.
  26. Talbot 56.
  27. Talbot 57.
  28. Schieffer 272-73.
  29. Palmer 158.
  30. Kehl, "Entstehung und Verbreitung" 128-32.
  31. Palmer 162.
  32. "The Calendar". The Church of England. Retrieved27 March 2021.
  33. "Devon Myths and Legends."
  34. Melmoth, Jenny and Val Hayward (1999). St. Boniface and the Little Fir Tree: A Story to Color. Warrington: Alfresco Books. ISBN 1-873727-15-1.
  35. Papa, Carrie (2008). The Brightest Star of All: Christmas Stories for the Family. Abingdon Press. ISBN 978-0-687-64813-9.
  36. Harvey, May Louise (1912). The American normal readers: fifth book: "How Saint Boniface Kept Christmas Eve." 207-22. Silver, Burdett and Co.
  37. Dyke, Henry van. "The First Christmas Tree". Retrieved30 December 2011.
  38. This is not the Willibald who was appointed by Boniface as Bishop of Eichstatt: "The writer of the Life was a simple priest who had never come into direct contact with Boniface and what he says is based upon the facts that he was able to collect from those who had been Boniface's disciples." Talbot 24.
  39. Levison xvii–xxvi.
  40. Levison xxxviii.
  41. Levison xlvii.
  42. Becht-Jördens, Gereon (1991). "Neue Hinweise zum Rechtsstatus des Klosters Fulda aus der Vita Aegil des Brun Candidus". Hessisches Jahrbuch für Landesgeschichte (in German). 41: 11–29.
  43. Levison lvi–lviii.
  44. Haarländer.
  45. Noble xxxiv–xxxv.
  46. Epistolae s. Bonifacii martyris, primi moguntini archiepiscopi, published in 1605 in Mainz and republished in 1625, and again in 1639, Paris.
  47. Emerton, 25–31; Tangl, 7–15.
  48. Eileen Gardiner, Medieval Visions of Heaven and Hell: A Sourcebook (New York: Garland, 9113, 143–45).
  49. Gneuss 130, item 849.
  50. Lapidge 38.
  51. 'Aenigmata Bonifatii', ed. by Fr. Glorie, trans. by Karl J. Minst, in Tatuini omnia opera, Variae collectiones aenigmatum merovingicae aetatis, Anonymus de dubiis nominibus, Corpus christianorum: series latina, 133-133a, 2 vols (Turnholt: Brepols, 1968), I 273-343.
  52. Orchard 62–63.
  53. Meeder, Sven (2011). "Boniface and the Irish Heresy of Clemens". Church History. 80 (2): 251–80. doi:10.1017/S0009640711000035.
  54. Glatthaar 134-63.
  55. Weichlein, Siegfried (2004). "Bonifatius als politischer Heiliger im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert". In Imhof, Michael; Stasch, Gregor K. (eds.). Bonifatius: Vom angelsächsischen Missionar zum Apostel der Deutschen (in German). Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag. pp. 219–34.
  56. Nichtweiß 283-88.
  57. Pralle 59.
  58. Grave 134.
  59. Aaij.
  60. Hartl.
  61. Henk Alkema (music) and Peter te Nuyl (libretto). Bonifacius. Leewarden, 2004.
  62. Ed. Cuno Raabe et al., Fulda: Parzeller, 1954.
  63. Eds. Michael Imhof and Gregor Stasch, Petersberg: Michael Imhof, 2004.
  64. Lehmann 193: "In dem auch heute noch als Standardwerk anerkannten Buch Winfrid-Bonifatius und die christlichen Grundlegung Europas von Theodor Schieffer..."
  65. Mostert, Marco. "Bonifatius als geschiedsvervalser". Madoc. 9 (3): 213–21. ...een nog steeds niet achterhaalde biografie

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Boniface (c. 675–754)
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Gewielieb
Archbishop of Mainz
745–754
Succeeded by

Saint Boniface
Saint Boniface Language Watch Edit Boniface redirects here For other uses see Boniface disambiguation For other uses see Saint Boniface disambiguation Boniface Latin Bonifatius c 675 2 5 June 754 born in the Crediton in Anglo Saxon England was a leading figure in the Anglo Saxon mission to the Germanic parts of the Frankish Empire during the 8th century He organised significant foundations of the church in Germany and was made archbishop of Mainz by Pope Gregory III He was martyred in Frisia in 754 along with 52 others and his remains were returned to Fulda where they rest in a sarcophagus which became a site of pilgrimage Boniface s life and death as well as his work became widely known there being a wealth of material available a number of vitae especially the near contemporary Vita Bonifatii auctore Willibaldi legal documents possibly some sermons and above all his correspondence He is venerated as a saint in the Christian church and became the patron saint of Germania known as the Apostle to the Germans Saint BonifaceSaint Boniface by Cornelis Bloemaert c 1630Bishop Apostle to the GermansBornc 675 1 Crediton DevonDied5 June 754 aged c 79 near Dokkum FrisiaVenerated inCatholic Church Orthodox Church Anglican Communion LutheranismMajor shrineFulda Cathedral St Boniface Catholic Church Crediton UKFeast5 JuneAttributesIn bishop s robes book pierced by a sword also axe oak scourge PatronageFulda Germania England Orthodox Church jointly with Ss Augustine of Canterbury and Cuthbert of Lindisfarne The Orthodox Church also recognises him as patron Saint of Germany Devon Norman F Cantor notes the three roles Boniface played that made him one of the truly outstanding creators of the first Europe as the apostle of Germania the reformer of the Frankish church and the chief fomentor of the alliance between the papacy and the Carolingian family 3 Through his efforts to reorganize and regulate the church of the Franks he helped shape the Latin Church in Europe and many of the dioceses he proposed remain today After his martyrdom he was quickly hailed as a saint in Fulda and other areas in Germania and in England He is still venerated strongly today by German Catholics Boniface is celebrated as a missionary he is regarded as a unifier of Europe and he is regarded by German Catholics as a national figure In 2019 Devon County Council with the support of the Anglican and Catholic churches in Exeter and Plymouth officially recognised St Boniface as the Patron Saint of Devon Contents 1 Early life and first mission to Frisia 2 Early missionary work in Frisia and Germania 3 Boniface and the Carolingians 4 Last mission to Frisia 5 Veneration 5 1 Fulda 5 2 Dokkum 6 Memorials 7 Legends 8 Sources and writings 8 1 Vitae 8 2 Correspondence 8 3 Sermons 8 4 Grammar and poetry 8 5 Additional materials 9 Anniversary and other celebrations 9 1 Celebrations in Germany 1805 1855 1905 9 2 1954 celebrations 9 3 1980 papal visit 9 4 2004 celebrations 10 Scholarship on Boniface 11 See also 12 References 12 1 Notes 12 2 Bibliography 13 External linksEarly life and first mission to Frisia Edit Prayer card early 20th century depicting Boniface leaving England The earliest Bonifacian vita Willibald s does not mention his place of birth but says that at an early age he attended a monastery ruled by Abbot Wulfhard in escancastre 4 or Examchester 5 which seems to denote Exeter and may have been one of many monasteriola built by local landowners and churchmen nothing else is known of it outside the Bonifacian vitae 6 This monastery is believed to have occupied the site of the Church of St Mary Major in the City of Exeter demolished in 1971 next to which was later built Exeter Cathedral 7 Later tradition places his birth at Crediton but the earliest mention of Crediton in connection to Boniface is from the early fourteenth century 8 in John Grandisson s Legenda Sanctorum The Proper Lessons for Saints Days according to the use of Exeter 9 In one of his letters Boniface mentions he was born and reared in the synod of London 10 but he may have been speaking metaphorically 11 According to the vitae Winfrid was of a respected and prosperous family Against his father s wishes he devoted himself at an early age to the monastic life He received further theological training in the Benedictine monastery and minster of Nhutscelle Nursling 12 not far from Winchester which under the direction of abbot Winbert had grown into an industrious centre of learning in the tradition of Aldhelm 13 Winfrid taught in the abbey school and at the age of 30 became a priest in this time he wrote a Latin grammar the Ars Grammatica besides a treatise on verse and some Aldhelm inspired riddles 14 While little is known about Nursling outside of Boniface s vitae it seems clear that the library there was significant To supply Boniface with the materials he needed it would have contained works by Donatus Priscian Isidore and many others 15 Around 716 when his abbot Wynberth of Nursling died he was invited or expected to assume his position it is possible that they were related and the practice of hereditary right among the early Anglo Saxons would affirm this 16 Winfrid however declined the position and in 716 set out on a missionary expedition to Frisia Early missionary work in Frisia and Germania Edit Saint Boniface felling Donar s Oak Boniface first left for the continent in 716 He traveled to Utrecht where Willibrord the Apostle to the Frisians had been working since the 690s He spent a year with Willibrord preaching in the countryside but their efforts were frustrated by the war then being carried on between Charles Martel and Radbod King of the Frisians Willibrord fled to the abbey he had founded in Echternach in modern day Luxembourg while Boniface returned to Nursling Boniface returned to the continent the next year and went straight to Rome where Pope Gregory II renamed him Boniface after the legendary fourth century martyr Boniface of Tarsus and appointed him missionary bishop for Germania he became a bishop without a diocese for an area that lacked any church organization He would never return to England though he remained in correspondence with his countrymen and kinfolk throughout his life According to the vitae Boniface felled the Donar Oak Latinized by Willibald as Jupiter s oak near the present day town of Fritzlar in northern Hesse According to his early biographer Willibald Boniface started to chop the oak down when suddenly a great wind as if by miracle blew the ancient oak over When the gods did not strike him down the people were amazed and converted to Christianity He built a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter from its wood at the site 17 the chapel was the beginning of the monastery in Fritzlar This account from the vita is stylized to portray Boniface as a singular character who alone acts to root out paganism Lutz von Padberg and others point out that what the vitae leave out is that the action was most likely well prepared and widely publicized in advance for maximum effect and that Boniface had little reason to fear for his personal safety since the Frankish fortified settlement of Buraburg was nearby 18 According to Willibald Boniface later had a church with an attached monastery built in Fritzlar 19 on the site of the previously built chapel according to tradition 20 Boniface and the Carolingians EditThis section needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed Find sources Saint Boniface news newspapers books scholar JSTOR June 2017 Learn how and when to remove this template message Fulda Sacramentary Saint Boniface baptizing top and being martyred bottom The support of the Frankish mayors of the palace maior domos and later the early Pippinid and Carolingian rulers was essential for Boniface s work Boniface had been under the protection of Charles Martel from 723 on 21 The Christian Frankish leaders desired to defeat their rival power the pagan Saxons and to incorporate the Saxon lands into their own growing empire Boniface s campaign of destruction of indigenous Germanic pagan sites may have benefited the Franks in their campaign against the Saxons In 732 Boniface traveled again to Rome to report and Pope Gregory III conferred upon him the pallium as archbishop with jurisdiction over what is now Germany Boniface again set out for the German lands and continued his mission but also used his authority to work on the relations between the papacy and the Frankish church Rome wanted more control over that church which it felt was much too independent and which in the eyes of Boniface was subject to worldly corruption Charles Martel after having defeated the forces of the Umayyad Caliphate during the Battle of Tours 732 had rewarded many churches and monasteries with lands but typically his supporters who held church offices were allowed to benefit from those possessions Boniface would have to wait until the 740s before he could try to address this situation in which Frankish church officials were essentially sinecures and the church itself paid little heed to Rome During his third visit to Rome in 737 38 he was made papal legate for Germany 22 After Boniface s third trip to Rome Charles Martel established four dioceses in Bavaria Salzburg Regensburg Freising and Passau and gave them to Boniface as archbishop and metropolitan over all Germany east of the Rhine In 745 he was granted Mainz as metropolitan see 23 In 742 one of his disciples Sturm also known as Sturmi or Sturmius founded the abbey of Fulda not far from Boniface s earlier missionary outpost at Fritzlar Although Sturm was the founding abbot of Fulda Boniface was very involved in the foundation The initial grant for the abbey was signed by Carloman the son of Charles Martel and a supporter of Boniface s reform efforts in the Frankish church Boniface himself explained to his old friend Daniel of Winchester that without the protection of Charles Martel he could neither administer his church defend his clergy nor prevent idolatry According to German historian Gunther Wolf the high point of Boniface s career was the Concilium Germanicum organized by Carloman in an unknown location in April 743 Although Boniface was not able to safeguard the church from property seizures by the local nobility he did achieve one goal the adoption of stricter guidelines for the Frankish clergy 24 who often hailed directly from the nobility After Carloman s resignation in 747 he maintained a sometimes turbulent relationship with the king of the Franks Pepin the claim that he would have crowned Pepin at Soissons in 751 is now generally discredited 25 Boniface balanced this support and attempted to maintain some independence however by attaining the support of the papacy and of the Agilolfing rulers of Bavaria In Frankish Hessian and Thuringian territory he established the dioceses of Wurzburg and Erfurt By appointing his own followers as bishops he was able to retain some independence from the Carolingians who most likely were content to give him leeway as long as Christianity was imposed on the Saxons and other Germanic tribes Last mission to Frisia Edit Saint Boniface crypt Fulda Nailhole in the Ragyndrudis Codex According to the vitae Boniface had never relinquished his hope of converting the Frisians and in 754 he set out with a retinue for Frisia He baptized a great number and summoned a general meeting for confirmation at a place not far from Dokkum between Franeker and Groningen Instead of his converts however a group of armed robbers appeared who slew the aged archbishop The vitae mention that Boniface persuaded his armed comrades to lay down their arms Cease fighting Lay down your arms for we are told in Scripture not to render evil for evil but to overcome evil by good 26 Having killed Boniface and his company the Frisian bandits ransacked their possessions but found that the company s luggage did not contain the riches they had hoped for they broke open the chests containing the books and found to their dismay that they held manuscripts instead of gold vessels pages of sacred texts instead of silver plates 27 They attempted to destroy these books the earliest vita already says and this account underlies the status of the Ragyndrudis Codex now held as a Bonifacian relic in Fulda and supposedly one of three books found on the field by the Christians who inspected it afterward Of those three books the Ragyndrudis Codex shows incisions that could have been made by sword or axe its story appears confirmed in the Utrecht hagiography the Vita altera which reports that an eye witness saw that the saint at the moment of death held up a gospel as spiritual protection 28 The story was later repeated by Otloh s vita at that time the Ragyndrudis Codex seems to have been firmly connected to the martyrdom Boniface s remains were moved from the Frisian countryside to Utrecht and then to Mainz where sources contradict each other regarding the behavior of Lullus Boniface s successor as archbishop of Mainz According to Willibald s vita Lullus allowed the body to be moved to Fulda while the later Vita Sturmi a hagiography of Sturm by Eigil of Fulda Lullus attempted to block the move and keep the body in Mainz 29 His remains were eventually buried in the abbey church of Fulda after resting for some time in Utrecht and they are entombed within a shrine beneath the high altar of Fulda Cathedral previously the abbey church There is good reason to believe that the Gospel he held up was the Codex Sangallensis 56 which shows damage to the upper margin which has been cut back as a form of repair Veneration EditFulda Edit Veneration of Boniface in Fulda began immediately after his death his grave was equipped with a decorative tomb around ten years after his burial and the grave and relics became the center of the abbey Fulda monks prayed for newly elected abbots at the grave site before greeting them and every Monday the saint was remembered in prayer the monks prostrating themselves and reciting Psalm 50 After the abbey church was rebuilt to become the Ratgar Basilica dedicated 791 Boniface s remains were translated to a new grave since the church had been enlarged his grave originally in the west was now in the middle his relics were moved to a new apse in 819 From then on Boniface as patron of the abbey was regarded as both spiritual intercessor for the monks and legal owner of the abbey and its possessions and all donations to the abbey were done in his name He was honored on the date of his martyrdom 5 June with a mass written by Alcuin and around the year 1000 with a mass dedicated to his appointment as bishop on 1 December 30 Dokkum Edit Willibald s vita describes how a visitor on horseback came to the site of the martyrdom and a hoof of his horse got stuck in the mire When it was pulled loose a well sprang up By the time of the Vita altera Bonifatii 9th century there was a church on the site and the well had become a fountain of sweet water used to sanctify people The Vita Liudgeri a hagiographical account of the work of Ludger describes how Ludger himself had built the church sharing duties with two other priests According to James Palmer the well was of great importance since the saint s body was hundreds of miles away the physicality of the well allowed for an ongoing connection with the saint In addition Boniface signified Dokkum s and Frisia s connect ion to the rest of Frankish Christendom 31 Memorials Edit Saint Boniface memorial in Fritzlar Germany Statue of St Boniface at the Mainz Cathedral Saint Boniface s feast day is celebrated on 5 June in the Roman Catholic Church the Lutheran Church the Anglican Communion and the Eastern Orthodox Church A famous statue of Saint Boniface stands on the grounds of Mainz Cathedral seat of the archbishop of Mainz A more modern rendition stands facing St Peter s Church of Fritzlar The UK National Shrine is located at the Catholic church at Crediton Devon which has a bas relief of the felling of Thor s Oak by sculptor Kenneth Carter The sculpture was unveiled by Princess Margaret in his native Crediton located in Newcombes Meadow Park There is also a series of paintings there by Timothy Moore There are quite a few churches dedicated to St Boniface in the United Kingdom Bunbury Cheshire Chandler s Ford and Southampton Hampshire Adler Street London Papa Westray Orkney St Budeaux Plymouth now demolished Bonchurch Isle of Wight Cullompton Devon Bishop George Errington founded St Boniface s Catholic College Plymouth in 1856 The school celebrates Saint Boniface on 5 June each year In 1818 Father Norbert Provencher founded a mission on the east bank of the Red River in what was then Rupert s Land building a log church and naming it after St Boniface The log church was consecrated as Saint Boniface Cathedral after Provencher was himself consecrated as a bishop and the diocese was formed The community that grew around the cathedral eventually became the city of Saint Boniface which merged into the city of Winnipeg in 1971 In 1844 four Grey Nuns arrived by canoe in Manitoba and in 1871 built Western Canada s first hospital St Boniface Hospital where the Assiniboine and Red Rivers meet Today St Boniface is regarded as Winnipeg s main French speaking district and the centre of the Franco Manitobain community and St Boniface Hospital is the second largest hospital in Manitoba Boniface Wynfrith of Crediton is remembered in the Church of England with a Lesser Festival on 1 June 32 Legends EditSome traditions credit Saint Boniface with the invention of the Christmas tree The vitae mention nothing of the sort However it is mentioned on a BBC Devon website in an account which places Geismar in Bavaria 33 and in a number of educational books including St Boniface and the Little Fir Tree 34 The Brightest Star of All Christmas Stories for the Family 35 The American normal readers 36 and a short story by Henry van Dyke The First Christmas Tree 37 Sources and writings Edit Saint Boniface statue in Fulda Germany Vitae Edit The earliest Life of Boniface was written by a certain Willibald an Anglo Saxon priest who came to Mainz after Boniface s death 38 around 765 Willibald s biography was widely dispersed Levison lists some forty manuscripts 39 According to his lemma a group of four manuscripts including Codex Monacensis 1086 are copies directly from the original 40 Listed second in Levison s edition is the entry from a late ninth century Fulda document Boniface s status as a martyr is attested by his inclusion in the Fulda Martyrology which also lists for instance the date 1 November of his translation in 819 when the Fulda Cathedral had been rebuilt 41 A Vita Bonifacii was written in Fulda in the ninth century possibly by Candidus of Fulda but is now lost 42 The next vita chronologically is the Vita altera Bonifatii auctore Radbodo which originates in the Bishopric of Utrecht and was probably revised by Radboud of Utrecht 899 917 Mainly agreeing with Willibald it adds an eye witness who presumably saw the martyrdom at Dokkum The Vita tertia Bonifatii likewise originates in Utrecht It is dated between 917 Radboud s death and 1075 the year Adam of Bremen wrote his Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum which used the Vita tertia 43 44 A later vita written by Otloh of St Emmeram 1062 1066 is based on Willibald s and a number of other vitae as well as the correspondence and also includes information from local traditions Correspondence Edit Boniface engaged in regular correspondence with fellow churchmen all over Western Europe including the three popes he worked with and with some of his kinsmen back in England Many of these letters contain questions about church reform and liturgical or doctrinal matters In most cases what remains is one half of the conversation either the question or the answer The correspondence as a whole gives evidence of Boniface s widespread connections some of the letters also prove an intimate relationship especially with female correspondents 45 There are 150 letters in what is generally called the Bonifatian correspondence though not all them are by Boniface or addressed to him They were assembled by order of archbishop Lullus Boniface s successor in Mainz and were initially organized into two parts a section containing the papal correspondence and another with his private letters They were reorganized in the eighth century in a roughly chronological ordering Otloh of St Emmeram who worked on a new vita of Boniface in the eleventh century is credited with compiling the complete correspondence as we have it 45 The correspondence was edited and published already in the seventeenth century by Nicolaus Serarius 46 Stephan Alexander Wurdtwein s 1789 edition Epistolae S Bonifacii Archiepiscopi Magontini was the basis for a number of partial translations in the nineteenth century The first version to be published by Monumenta Germaniae Historica MGH was the edition by Ernst Dummler 1892 the most authoritative version until today is Michael Tangl s 1912 Die Briefe des Heiligen Bonifatius Nach der Ausgabe in den Monumenta Germaniae Historica published by MGH in 1916 45 This edition is the basis of Ephraim Emerton s selection and translation in English The Letters of Saint Boniface first published in New York in 1940 it was republished most recently with a new introduction by Thomas F X Noble in 2000 Included among his letters and dated to 716 is one to Abbess Edburga of Minster in Thanet containing the Vision of the Monk of Wenlock 47 This otherworld vision describes how a violently ill monk is freed from his body and guided by angels to a place of judgment where angels and devils fight over his soul as his sins and virtues come alive to accuse and defend him He sees a hell of purgation full of pits vomiting flames There is a bridge over a pitch black boiling river Souls either fall from it or safely reach the other side cleansed of their sins This monk even sees some of his contemporary monks and is told to warn them to repent before they die This vision bears signs of influence by the Apocalypse of Paul the visions from the Dialogues of Gregory the Great and the visions recorded by Bede 48 Sermons Edit Main article Sermones Pseudo Bonifatii Some fifteen preserved sermons are traditionally associated with Boniface but that they were actually his is not generally accepted Grammar and poetry Edit Early in his career before he left for the continent Boniface wrote the Ars Bonifacii a grammatical treatise presumably for his students in Nursling Helmut Gneuss reports that one manuscript copy of the treatise originates from the south of England mid eighth century it is now held in Marburg in the Hessisches Staatsarchiv 49 He also wrote a treatise on verse the Caesurae uersuum and a collection of twenty acrostic riddles the Enigmata influenced greatly by Aldhelm and containing many references to works of Vergil the Aeneid the Georgics and the Eclogues 50 The riddles fall into two sequences of ten poems The first De virtutibus on the virtues comprises 1 de ueritate truth 2 de fide catholica the Catholic faith 3 de spe hope 4 de misericordia compassion 5 de caritate love 6 de iustitia justice 7 de patientia patience 8 de pace uera cristiana true Christian peace 9 de humilitate cristiania Christian humility 10 de uirginitate virginity The second sequence De vitiis on the vices comprises 1 de neglegentia carelessness 2 de iracundia hot temper 3 de cupiditate greed 4 de superbia pride 5 de crapula intemperance 6 de ebrietate drunkenness 7 de luxoria fornication 8 de inuidia envy 9 de ignorantia ignorance 10 de uana gloria vainglory 51 Three octosyllabic poems written in clearly Aldhelmian fashion according to Andy Orchard are preserved in his correspondence all composed before he left for the continent 52 Additional materials Edit A letter by Boniface charging Aldebert and Clement with heresy is preserved in the records of the Roman Council of 745 that condemned the two 53 Boniface had an interest in the Irish canon law collection known as Collectio canonum Hibernensis and a late 8th early 9th century manuscript in Wurzburg contains besides a selection from the Hibernensis a list of rubrics that mention the heresies of Clemens and Aldebert The relevant folios containing these rubrics were most likely copied in Mainz Wurzburg or Fulda all places associated with Boniface 53 Michael Glatthaar suggested that the rubrics should be seen as Boniface s contribution to the agenda for a synod 54 Anniversary and other celebrations EditBoniface s death and birth has given rise to a number of noteworthy celebrations The dates for some of these celebrations have undergone some changes in 1805 1855 and 1905 and in England in 1955 anniversaries were calculated with Boniface s death dated in 755 according to the Mainz tradition in Mainz Michael Tangl s dating of the martyrdom in 754 was not accepted until after 1955 Celebrations in Germany centered on Fulda and Mainz in the Netherlands on Dokkum and Utrecht and in England on Crediton and Exeter Celebrations in Germany 1805 1855 1905 Edit Medal minted for the Boniface anniversary in Fulda 1905 The first German celebration on a fairly large scale was held in 1805 the 1 050th anniversary of his death followed by a similar celebration in a number of towns in 1855 both of these were predominantly Catholic affairs emphasizing the role of Boniface in German history But if the celebrations were mostly Catholic in the first part of the 19th century the respect for Boniface in general was an ecumenical affair with both Protestants and Catholics praising Boniface as a founder of the German nation in response to the German nationalism that arose after the Napoleonic era came to an end The second part of the 19th century saw increased tension between Catholics and Protestants for the latter Martin Luther had become the model German the founder of the modern nation and he and Boniface were in direct competition for the honor 55 In 1905 when strife between Catholic and Protestant factions had eased one Protestant church published a celebratory pamphlet Gerhard Ficker s Bonifatius der Apostel der Deutschen there were modest celebrations and a publication for the occasion on historical aspects of Boniface and his work the 1905 Festgabe by Gregor Richter and Carl Scherer In all the content of these early celebrations showed evidence of the continuing question about the meaning of Boniface for Germany though the importance of Boniface in cities associated with him was without question 56 1954 celebrations Edit In 1954 celebrations were widespread in England Germany and the Netherlands and a number of these celebrations were international affairs Especially in Germany these celebrations had a distinctly political note to them and often stressed Boniface as a kind of founder of Europe such as when Konrad Adenauer the Catholic German chancellor addressed a crowd of 60 000 in Fulda celebrating the feast day of the saint in a European context Das was wir in Europa gemeinsam haben ist gemeinsamen Ursprungs What we have in common in Europe comes from the same source 57 1980 papal visit Edit When Pope John Paul II visited Germany in November 1980 he spent two days in Fulda 17 and 18 November He celebrated Mass in Fulda Cathedral with 30 000 gathered on the square in front of the building and met with the German Bishops Conference held in Fulda since 1867 The pope next celebrated mass outside the cathedral in front of an estimated crowd of 100 000 and hailed the importance of Boniface for German Christianity Der heilige Bonifatius Bischof und Martyrer bedeutet den Anfang des Evangeliums und der Kirche in Eurem Land The holy Boniface bishop and martyr signifies the beginning of the gospel and the church in your country 58 A photograph of the pope praying at Boniface s grave became the centerpiece of a prayer card distributed from the cathedral 2004 celebrations Edit In 2004 anniversary celebrations were held throughout Northwestern Germany and Utrecht and Fulda and Mainz generating a great amount of academic and popular interest The event occasioned a number of scholarly studies esp biographies for instance by Auke Jelsma in Dutch Lutz von Padberg in German and Klaas Bruinsma in Frisian and a fictional completion of the Boniface correspondence Lutterbach Mit Axt und Evangelium 59 A German musical proved a great commercial success 60 and in the Netherlands an opera was staged 61 Scholarship on Boniface EditThere is an extensive body of literature on the saint and his work At the time of the various anniversaries edited collections were published containing essays by some of the best known scholars of the time such as the 1954 collection Sankt Bonifatius Gedenkgabe zum Zwolfhundertsten Todestag 62 and the 2004 collection Bonifatius Vom Angelsachsischen Missionar zum Apostel der Deutschen 63 In the modern era Lutz von Padberg published a number of biographies and articles on the saint focusing on his missionary praxis and his relics The most authoritative biography remains Theodor Schieffer s Winfrid Bonifatius und die Christliche Grundlegung Europas 1954 64 65 See also EditList of Catholic saints Religion in Germany Saint Boniface patron saint archive St Boniface s Catholic College Plymouth EnglandReferences EditNotes Edit Boniface Saint 3 15th ed Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc 1974 pp 31 32 ISBN 0 85229 305 4 Aherne Consuelo Maria Saint Boniface Britannica Retrieved 20 September 2016 Cantor 167 68 Levison 6 Talbot 28 Schieffer 76 77 103 105 St Mary Major Cathedral Yard Exeter Memories website 2015 Orme 97 Hockey 106 Levison xxix Emerton 81 Flechner 47 Levison 9 Schieffer 105 106 Gneuss 38 Gneuss 37 40 Yorke Levison 31 32 von Padberg 40 41 Levison 35 Rau 494 n 10 Greenaway 25 Moore Good Wolf 2 5 Wolf 5 Talbot 56 Talbot 57 Schieffer 272 73 Palmer 158 Kehl Entstehung und Verbreitung 128 32 Palmer 162 The Calendar The Church of England Retrieved 27 March 2021 Devon Myths and Legends Melmoth Jenny and Val Hayward 1999 St Boniface and the Little Fir Tree A Story to Color Warrington Alfresco Books ISBN 1 873727 15 1 Papa Carrie 2008 The Brightest Star of All Christmas Stories for the Family Abingdon Press ISBN 978 0 687 64813 9 Harvey May Louise 1912 The American normal readers fifth book How Saint Boniface Kept Christmas Eve 207 22 Silver Burdett and Co Dyke Henry van The First Christmas Tree Retrieved 30 December 2011 This is not the Willibald who was appointed by Boniface as Bishop of Eichstatt The writer of the Life was a simple priest who had never come into direct contact with Boniface and what he says is based upon the facts that he was able to collect from those who had been Boniface s disciples Talbot 24 Levison xvii xxvi Levison xxxviii Levison xlvii Becht Jordens Gereon 1991 Neue Hinweise zum Rechtsstatus des Klosters Fulda aus der Vita Aegil des Brun Candidus Hessisches Jahrbuch fur Landesgeschichte in German 41 11 29 Levison lvi lviii Haarlander a b c Noble xxxiv xxxv Epistolae s Bonifacii martyris primi moguntini archiepiscopi published in 1605 in Mainz and republished in 1625 and again in 1639 Paris Emerton 25 31 Tangl 7 15 Eileen Gardiner Medieval Visions of Heaven and Hell A Sourcebook New York Garland 9113 143 45 Gneuss 130 item 849 Lapidge 38 Aenigmata Bonifatii ed by Fr Glorie trans by Karl J Minst in Tatuini omnia opera Variae collectiones aenigmatum merovingicae aetatis Anonymus de dubiis nominibus Corpus christianorum series latina 133 133a 2 vols Turnholt Brepols 1968 I 273 343 Orchard 62 63 a b Meeder Sven 2011 Boniface and the Irish Heresy of Clemens Church History 80 2 251 80 doi 10 1017 S0009640711000035 Glatthaar 134 63 Weichlein Siegfried 2004 Bonifatius als politischer Heiliger im 19 und 20 Jahrhundert In Imhof Michael Stasch Gregor K eds Bonifatius Vom angelsachsischen Missionar zum Apostel der Deutschen in German Petersberg Michael Imhof Verlag pp 219 34 Nichtweiss 283 88 Pralle 59 Grave 134 Aaij Hartl Henk Alkema music and Peter te Nuyl libretto Bonifacius Leewarden 2004 Ed Cuno Raabe et al Fulda Parzeller 1954 Eds Michael Imhof and Gregor Stasch Petersberg Michael Imhof 2004 Lehmann 193 In dem auch heute noch als Standardwerk anerkannten Buch Winfrid Bonifatius und die christlichen Grundlegung Europas von Theodor Schieffer Mostert Marco Bonifatius als geschiedsvervalser Madoc 9 3 213 21 een nog steeds niet achterhaalde biografie Bibliography Edit Aaij Michel June 2005 Continental Business Boniface biographies The Heroic Age 8 Retrieved 20 May 2010 Cantor Norman F 1994 The civilization of the Middle Ages a completely revised and expanded edition of Medieval history the life and death of a civilization HarperCollins p 168 ISBN 978 0 06 092553 6 Devon Myths and Legends BBC 18 December 2007 Retrieved 14 December 2010 Emerton Ephraim 1976 The Letters of Saint Boniface Columbia University Records of Civilization New York Norton ISBN 0393091473 Ficker Gerhard 1905 Bonifatius der Apostel der Deutschen Ein Gedenkblatt zum Jubilaumsjahr 1905 Leipzig Evangelischen Bundes Glatthaar Michael 2004 Bonifatius und das Sakrileg zur politischen Dimension eines Rechtsbegriffs Lang ISBN 9783631533093 Greenaway George William 1955 Saint Boniface Three Biographical Studies for the Twelfth Centenary Festival London Flechner Roy 2013 St Boniface as historian a continental perspective on the organization of the early Anglo Saxon church Anglo Saxon England 41 41 62 doi 10 1017 S0263675112000063 ISSN 0263 6751 Van der Goot Annelies 2005 De moord op Bonifatius Het spoor terug Amsterdam Rubinstein ISBN 90 5444 877 6 Gneuss Helmut 2001 Handlist of Anglo Saxon Manuscripts A List of Manuscripts and Manuscript Fragments Written or Owned in England up to 1100 Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 241 Tempe Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Good Leanne 2020 Boniface in Bavaria In Aaij Michel Godlove Shannon eds A Companion to Boniface Leiden Brill Grave Werner 1980 Gemeinsam Zeugnis geben Johannes Paul II in Deutschland Butzon amp Bercker p 134 ISBN 3 7666 9144 9 Haarlander Stephanie 2007 Welcher Bonifatius soll es sein Bemerkungen zu den Vitae Bonifatii In Franz J Felten Jorg Jarnut Lutz von Padberg eds Bonifatius Leben und Nachwirken Selbstverlag der Gesellschaft fur mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte pp 353 61 ISBN 978 3 929135 56 5 Hartl Iris 26 March 2009 Bestatigt Bonifatius kommt wieder Fuldaer Zeitung Retrieved 20 May 2010 Frederick Hockey 1980 St Boniface in his Correspondence In H Farmer David Hugh ed Benedict s Disciples Leominster pp 105 117 Kehl Petra 1993 Kult und Nachleben des heiligen Bonifatius im Mittelalter 754 1200 Quellen und Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der Abtei und der Diozese Fulda 26 Fulda Parzeller ISBN 9783790002263 Kehl Petra 2004 Entstehung und Verbreitung des Bonifatiuskultes In Imhof Michael Stasch Gregor K eds Bonifatius Vom Angelsaschsischen Missionar zum Apostel der Deutschen Petersberg Michael Imhof pp 127 50 ISBN 3937251324 Lehmann Karl 2007 Geht hinaus in alle Welt Zum historischen Erbe und zur Gegenwartsbedeutung des hl Bonifatius In Franz J Felten Jorg Jarnut Lutz E von Padberg eds Bonifatius Leben und Nachwirken Gesellschaft fur mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte pp 193 210 ISBN 978 3 929135 56 5 Levison Wilhelm 1905 Vitae Sancti Bonifati Archiepiscopi Moguntini Hahn Retrieved 25 August 2010 Moore Michael E 2020 Boniface in Francia In Aaij Michel Godlove Shannon eds A Companion to Boniface Leiden Brill Mostert Marco 1999 754 Bonifatius bij Dokkum Vermoord Hilversum Verloren Nichtweiss Barbara 2005 Zur Bonifatius Verehrung in Mainz im 19 und 20 Jahrhundert In Barbara Nichtweiss ed Bonifatius in Mainz Neues Jahrbuch fur das Bistum Mainz Beitrage zur Zeit und Kulturgeschichte der Diozose Jg 2005 Mainz Philipp von Zabern pp 277 92 ISBN 3 934450 18 0 Noble Thomas F X Ephraim Emerton 2000 The Letters of Saint Boniface Columbia UP ISBN 978 0 231 12093 7 Retrieved 15 December 2010 Orchard Andy 1994 The Poetic Art of Aldhelm Cambridge UP ISBN 9780521450904 Orme Nicholas 1980 The Church in Crediton from Saint Boniface to the Reformation In Timothy Reuter ed The Greatest Englishman Essays on Boniface and the Church at Crediton Paternoster pp 97 131 ISBN 978 0 85364 277 0 Padberg Lutz E von 2003 Bonifatius Missionar und Reformer Beck ISBN 978 3 406 48019 5 Palmer James T 2009 Anglo Saxons in a Frankish World 690 900 Studies in the Early Middle Ages Turnhout Brepols ISBN 9782503519111 Pralle Ludwig 1954 Gaude Fulda Das Bonifatiusjahr 1954 Parzeller Rau Reinhold 1968 Briefe des Bonifatius Willibalds Leben des Bonifatius Ausgewahlte quellen zur deutschen Geschichte des Mittelalters IVb Darmstadt Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Richter Gregor Carl Scherer 1905 Festgabe zum Bonifatius Jubilaum 1905 Fulda Actiendruckerei St Boniface entry from online version of the Catholic Encyclopedia 1913 edition Schieffer Theodor 1972 1954 Winfrid Bonifatius und die christliche Grundlegung Europas Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft ISBN 3 534 06065 2 Talbot C H ed The Anglo Saxon Missionaries in Germany Being the Lives of S S Willibrord Boniface Strum Leoba and Lebuin together with the Hodoeporicon of St Willibald and a Selection from the Correspondence of St Boniface New York Sheed and Ward 1954 The Bonifacian vita was republished in Noble Thomas F X and Thomas Head eds Soldiers of Christ Saints and Saints Lives in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages University Park Pennsylvania State UP 1995 109 40 Tangl Michael 1903 Zum Todesjahr des hl Bonifatius Zeitschrift des Vereins fur Hessische Geschichte und Landeskunde 37 223 50 Wolf Gunther G 1999 Die Peripetie in des Bonifatius Wirksamkeit und die Resignation Karlmanns d A Archiv fur Diplomatik 45 1 5 Yorke Barbara 2007 The Insular Background to Boniface s Continental Career In Franz J Felten Jorg Jarnut Lutz von Padberg eds Bonifatius Leben und Nachwirken Selbstverlag der Gesellschaft fur mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte pp 23 37 ISBN 978 3 929135 56 5 External links Edit St Boniface Archbishop of Mentz Apostle of Germany and Martyr Butler s Lives of the Saints Wilhelm Levison Vitae Sancti BonifatiiWikimedia Commons has media related to Saint Boniface Wikisource has original works written by or about Boniface c 675 754 Catholic Church titlesPreceded by Gewielieb Archbishop of Mainz 745 754 Succeeded by Lullus Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Saint Boniface amp oldid 1053368081, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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