Book of Saints – Boniface – 5 June


BONIFACE (Saint) Bishop Martyr (June 5) (8th century) An Anglo-Saxon, born at Crediton in Devonshire, who received in Baptism the name of Winfried. Educated in monasteries at Exeter and Winchester, he lived for many years as a Benedictine monk; but, feeling himself called to a missionary career, set forth (A.D. 716) to preach the Gospel to the heathen people of Friesland. Later, Pope Saint Gregory II consecrated him Bishop, and, giving him the name of Boniface, sent him to evangelise Germany, of which country he is venerated as the Apostle. Having chosen Mainz as his Metropolitan See, he gave himself indefatigably to his work, which was wonderfully blessed by Almighty God. Twenty-two years later he resigned his Archbishopric in order to return to his unfinished task in Friesland. There, together with fifty-two companions, he suffered martyrdom at the hands of the pagans, A.D. 755. His body reposes in the Abbey of Fulda, and innumerable miracles have been wrought at his tomb. One of his achievements in Germany was the felling of an enormous oak tree, the centre of the idolatrous worship of the natives, which led to a conversion en masse of all the spectators. Hence, in art, he is often represented with axe in hand at the foot of an oak tree.

MLA Citation

  • Monks of Ramsgate. “Boniface”. Book of Saints, 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 5 September 2012. Web. 23 January 2019. <>