Pope Gregory II – Commends Bishop Boniface to the Christians of Germany, 1 December 722

Pope Gregory IIBishop Gregory, servant of the servants of God, to all the very reverend and holy brethren, fellow-bishops, religious priests and deacons, dukes, provosts, counts and all Christian men who fear God.

Knowing that some of the peoples in the parts of Germany that lie on the eastern bank of the Rhine have been led astray by the wiles of the devil and now serve idols under the guise of the Christian religion, and that others have not yet been cleansed by the waters of holy Baptism, but like brute beasts are blind to their Creator, we have taken great care to send the bearer of these letters, our revered brother and fellow-bishop Boniface, into these parts to enlighten them and to preach the word of faith, so that by his preaching he may teach them the way of eternal life, and when he finds those who have been led astray from the path of true faith or been misled by the cunning of the devil he may reprove them, bring them back to the haven of salvation, instruct them in the teachings of this Apostolic See and confirm them in the Catholic faith.

We exhort you, then, for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ and the reverence you bear to his apostles, to support him by all the means at your disposal and to receive him in the name of Jesus, Christ, according to what is written of His disciples: “He who receiveth you, receiveth me.” See to it that he has all he requires; give him companions to escort him on his journey, provide him with food and drink and anything else he may need, so that with the blessing of God the work of piety and salvation committed’ to him may proceed without hindrance, and that you yourselves may receive the reward of your labours and through the conversion of sinners may find treasure laid up for you in heaven.

If, therefore, any man assists and gives succour to this servant of God sent by the Apostolic See for the enlightenment of the heathen, may he enjoy through the prayers of the princes of the Apostles the fellowship of the saints and martyrs of Jesus Christ.

But if (which God forbid) any man should attempt to hinder his efforts and oppose the work of the ministry entrusted to him and his successors, may he be cursed by the judgment of God and condemned to eternal damnation.

Fare ye well.