Saturday, June 5, 2010

Memorial of St Boniface

"Winfrid, afterwards called Boniface, was an Englishman, and born in England, towards the end of the seventh century.  From his very childhood, he turned away from the world, and set his heart upon becoming a monk.  His father tried in vain to turn him from his wishes by the beguilements of the world, and he entered a monastery, where the Blessed Wolphard instructed him in all godliness and divers kinds of learning.  At the age of twenty-nine years he was ordained Priest, and became an unwearied preacher of the Word of God, wherein he had a gift which he used with great gain of souls.  Nevertheless, his great desire was to spread the kingdom of Christ, and he continually bewailed the vast number of savages who were plunged in the darkness of ignorance and were the servants of the devil.  This zealous love of souls increased in him in intensity day by day, till nothing would serve him, but, having implored the blessing of God by tears and prayers, and obtained authority from the head of his monastery, to set forth for the coast of Germany.

He set sail from England with two companions and reached the town of Dorestadt in Friesland.  A great war being the raging between Radbod, King of the Frieslanders and Charles Martel, Winfrid preached the Gospel in vain.  He went back to England, and betook himself again to his monastery, whereof he was, against his own will, chosen to be the head.  After two years he obtained the consent of the Bishop of Winchester to resign his office, and went to Rome, to seek an Apostolic commission to preach to the heathen.  When he arrived at the city he was courteously welcomed by Gregory II, who changed his name from Winfrid to Boniface.  He departed thence to Germany, and preached Christ to the tribes in Thuringia and Saxony.  Radbod, King of Friesland, who bitterly hated the Christian name, being dead, Boniface went a second time among the Frieslanders, and there, with his comrade St. Willibrord, preached the Gospel for three years with so much fruit, that the idols were hewn down, and countless churches arose to the true God.

St. Willibrord urged upon him to take the office of Bishop, but he deferred to seek it, that he might the more instantly toil for the salvation of the unbelievers.  Advancing into Germany, he reclaimed thousands of the Hessians from devil-worship.  Pope Gregory sent for him to Rome, and after hearing a noble profession of his faith, consecrated him a Bishop.  He again returned to Germany, and thoroughly purged Hesse and Thuringia from all remains of idolatry.  On account of such great works, Gregory III advanced Boniface to the dignity of an Archbishop, and on the occasion of a third journey to Rome, he was invested by the Sovereign Pontiff with the powers of Legate of the Apostolic See.  As such, he founded four Bishopricks, and held divers Synods, among which is especially to be remembered that of Lessines, held in Belgium, in the diocese of Cambrai, wherein he made his strongest endeavours to spread the Faith among the Belgians.  By Pope Zacharias, he was named Archbishop of Mainz, and by command of the same Pope, he anointed Pepin to be King of the Franks.  After the death of St. Willibrord, he undertook the government of the Church of Utrecht, at first through Eoban; but he afterwards was released from the care of the Church of Mainz and established his see at Utrecht.  The Frieslanders having again fallen back into idolatry, he once more betook himself to preach the Gospel among them, and while he was busied in this duty, he grasped the crown of martyrdom, being murdered by some ungodly savages, along with his fellow-Bishop Eoban, and many others, in a bloody massacre near the River Born.  In accordance with the wish expressed by himself during life the body of St. Boniface was carried to Mainz, and buried in the monastery of Fulda, of which he had been the founder, and where God hath gloriously honoured it by the working of many signs and wonders.  Pope Pius IX ordered the Office and Mass in his memory to be used throughout the whole Church."

-- From the 1911 Breviary of St Pius X

1 comment:

Sor.Cecilia Codina Masachs said...

¡Hola!Paso solo a saludarte, aún no he pododido contestarte el correo, lo tengo en mente.
Feliz día de Corpus Christi
Un abrazo con ternura.