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
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.
||St. Boniface (Ken Garnett) pdf pdf
Keep, St. Boniface and His World. Carlisle: Paternoster Press, 1979.
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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.
Boniface and the Conversion of Germany (Medieval
Boniface (Francis Mershman)
"Sites and Monuments of the Anglo-Saxon Mission in Central Germany," Archaeological Journal 140 (1983): 280-321.
Reuter, ed. The Greatest Englishman: Essays on St. Boniface and the Church
at Crediton. Paternoster Press, 1980. Hbk. ISBN: 085364277X.
Russell, "St Boniface and the Eccentrics," Church History 33 (1964):
||Thomas Smith, Medieval Missions. Duff Missionary Lectures - First Series. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1880. Hbk. pp.279. pdf [This material is in the Public Domain]
Talbot, The Anglo-Saxon Missionaries in Germany. Sheed & Ward, 1981.
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||Ruth 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.
||G.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. 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]
||J.M. Wallace-Hadrill, The
Frankish Church. Oxford History of the Christian Church. Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1983. Hbk. ISBN: 0198269064. pp.150-61.
||Frederick 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.