Boniface (c.675 - 754)

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BONIFACE (Winfrid, the "Apostle of Germany"), b. at Kirton near Exeter, between 680 and 683; d. near Dokkum in Friesland, June 5. 754 or 755; a Saxon by birth; was educated in the monasteries of Adescancastre and Nhutscelle, and had already acquired a name for learning and piety, when, in 716, he left his native country, and. joined the missionary Willibrord in Friesland. Political circumstances, however, made missionary labor an impossibility in that field at that moment; and Boniface returned to England. But in 718 he again started for the Continent. This time he went to France, and thence to Rome; and with papal authorization he repaired in 719 to Germany. His first attempts as a missionary in Bavaria and in the Frankish dominions failed, and he once more joined Willibrord in Friesland. After the death of the latter, Boniface returned to Germany (722); and in the region between the Lahn and the Saale he finally succeeded in taking root, and forming for himself a basis of operation. Front this moment to his death he labored with great success in Hesse, Bavaria, and, after the death of Charles Martel, also in the Frankish Empire. In 723 he was made a bishop; in 732, an archbishop. His last effort was a tour into Friesland, where a Pagan reaction had taken place after the death of Willibrord; and here he was killed while administering confirmation to those who had remained faithful. His work consisted, however, not so much in the preaching of Christianity as in the propagation of Romanism, which to him was identical with Christianity organized, and which, perhaps, was the best for that age. He labored mostly in countries which had already been Christianized by the Iro-Scottish missionaries; and the result of his labor was simply the establishment of the Roman hierarchy. He formed bishoprics, and secured bishops who were willing to administer their dioceses in sub-mission to the Pope. To convert Pagans to Christianity was not his only or his chief office, but to drive away by force or intrigue the independent Christian missionaries, and replace them with Roman priests; and at the time of his death that part of Germany which had received Christianity was firmly connected with the Roman see.

Philip Schaff, ed., A Religious Encyclopaedia or Dictionary of Biblical, Historical, Doctrinal, and Practical Theology, 3rd edn, Vol. 1. Toronto, New York & London: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1894. pp.311-312.

Primary Sources

On-line Resource The Correspondence of St. Boniface (Medieval Sourcebook)
Book or monograph Edward Kylie, editor. English Correspondence of Saint Boniface. Cooper Square Publrs, US, 1966. Hbk. ISBN: 0815400284.
On-line Resource The Correspondence of St. Boniface (Medieval Sourcebook)
Book or monograph The Letters of St. BonifaceBoniface, The Letters of St. Boniface, new edn,, Ephraim Emerton, translator. Columbia University Press, 2000. Pbk. ISBN: 0231120931. pp.220.
On-line Resource Willibald: The Life of St. Boniface (Medieval Sourcebook)

Secondary Sources

On-line Resource St. Boniface (Ken Garnett)View in PDF format pdf View in PDF format pdf
Book or monograph David Keep, St. Boniface and His World. Carlisle: Paternoster Press, 1979. Pbk. ISBN: 0853642761.
Book or monograph Wilhelm Levison, England and the Continent in the Eighth Century. Ford Lectures, 1943. Oxford: Oxford University Press Reprints distributed by Sandpiper Books, 1998. Hbk. ISBN: 0198212321. pp.355.
On-line Resource St. Boniface and the Conversion of Germany (Medieval Sourcebook)
On-line Resource St. Boniface (Francis Mershman)
Article in Journal or Book D. Parsons, "Sites and Monuments of the Anglo-Saxon Mission in Central Germany," Archaeological Journal 140 (1983): 280-321.
Book or monograph Timothy Reuter, ed. The Greatest Englishman: Essays on St. Boniface and the Church at Crediton. Paternoster Press, 1980. Hbk. ISBN: 085364277X.
Article in Journal or Book Jeffrey B. Russell, "St Boniface and the Eccentrics," Church History 33 (1964): 235-247
On-line Resource Thomas Smith, Medieval Missions. Duff Missionary Lectures - First Series. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1880. Hbk. pp.279. View in PDF format pdf [This material is in the Public Domain]
Article in Journal or Book C.H. Talbot, "St. Boniface and the German Mission," G.J. Cuming, ed.,The Mission of the Church and the Propagation of th Faith. Papers read at the Seventh summer meeting and eighth winter meeting of the Ecclesiastical History Society. Studies in Church History, Vol. 6. . Cambridge: Cambridge UNiversity Press,1970. Hbk. pp.45-57.
Book or monograph C.H. Talbot, The Anglo-Saxon Missionaries in Germany. Sheed & Ward, 1981. Pbk. ISBN: 0722010125. pp.23-149.
Book or monograph Tucker: From Jerusalem to Irian JayaRuth A. Tucker, From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions, 2nd edn. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004. Hbk. ISBN-13: 978-0310239376. pp.47-51.
On-line Resource G.S.M. Walker, The Growing Storm. Sketches of Church History from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1350G.S.M. Walker, The Growing Storm. Sketches of Church History from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1350. London: The Paternoster Press, 1961. Hbk. pp.252. View in PDF format pdf [All reasonable efforts have been made to contact the copyright holder of this article without success. If you hold the rights, please contact me]
Book or monograph Wallace-Hadrill: The Frankish ChurchJ.M. Wallace-Hadrill, The Frankish Church. Oxford History of the Christian Church. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983. Hbk. ISBN: 0198269064. pp.150-61.
Book or monograph Weidmann: Polycarp and JohnFrederick W. Weidmann, Polycarp and John: The Harris Fragments and Their Challenge to the Literary Traditions. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1999. Hbk. ISBN-13: 978-0268038519. pp.189.

Related Subjects

Peter Abelard | Aelfric | Alcuin |Anselm | Augustine of Canterbury | Thomas Becket | Bede | Benedict | Bernard of Clairvaux | Boniface | Thomas Bradwardine | Bruno | Catherine of Siena | Charlemagne | Charles Martel | Clare | Clovis | Columba | Dominic | Duns Scotus | Dunstan | Meister Eckhart | Desiderius Erasmus | Francis of Assisi | Gottschalk | Gregory I | Gregory of Rimini | Gregory of Tours | Hildegard of Bingen | Hugo of St Victor | Ignatius Loyola | Innocent III | Isidore | Joachim of Fiore | John Huss | John of Damascus | John of Wesel | Jerome of Prague | Julian of Norwich | Marjory Kempe | Ramon Llull | Nicholas of Cusa | Nicholas of Lyre | Patrick | Pepin (Pippin III) | Peter Damian | Peter Lombard | Peter the Venerable | Photius | Richard Rolle | Scholastica | Thomas Aquinas | Wilfred | William of Ockham | William of St-Theirry | John Wycliffe

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