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Born to a noble family of Wessex, England, as Wynfrid or Wynfrith, Boniface (in Latin, Bonifatius) is known as the "Apostle of Germany" for his work in Christianizing that country. First a benedictine monk and then ordained as a priest, Wynfrid journeyed to Rome after failing to convert Frisian Saxons to Christianity. There Pope Gregory II changed his name to Boniface and charged him with a mission to convert the pagans east of the Rhine and specifically to use the Roman formula for baptism (as opposed to the Celtic that had already taken hold in parts of Europe). So successful was Boniface in his mission that he was made a missionary bishop and given letters of recommendation to important figures such as Charles Martel, leader of the Franks. When as part of his efforts of conversion Boniface destroyed the sacred oak of the Germanic god Thor at Geismar, it was fear of Charles Martel that made it possible.

St. Boniface was martyred when a band of Frisians attacked him while he was reading Scripture to newly converted Christians on Pentecost Sunday.

Boniface's work in converting pagans, reforming Christians who had been converted under the "haphazard" methods of the Irish, organizing churches and founding monasteries in Germany would pave the way for large portions of territory to be incorporated into the Carolingian Empire as well as establishing a powerful base for the Catholic Church. The monasteries, which provided missionaries and teachers for generations to come, would significantly improve life in eighth-century Europe.

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Born to a noble family of Wessex, England, as Wynfrid or Wynfrith, Boniface (in Latin, Bonifatius) is known as the "Apostle of Germany" for his work in Christianizing that country. First a benedictine monk and then ordained as a priest, Wynfrid journeyed to Rome after failing to convert Frisian Saxons to Christianity. There Pope Gregory II changed his name to Boniface and charged him with a mission to convert the pagans east of the Rhine and specifically to use the Roman formula for baptism (as opposed to the Celtic that had already taken hold in parts of Europe). So successful was Boniface in his mission that he was made a missionary bishop and given letters of recommendation to important figures such as Charles Martel, leader of the Franks. When as part of his efforts of conversion Boniface destroyed the sacred oak of the Germanic god Thor at Geismar, it was fear of Charles Martel that made it possible.

St. Boniface was martyred when a band of Frisians attacked him while he was reading Scripture to newly converted Christians on Pentecost Sunday.

Boniface's work in converting pagans, reforming Christians who had been converted under the "haphazard" methods of the Irish, organizing churches and founding monasteries in Germany would pave the way for large portions of territory to be incorporated into the Carolingian Empire as well as establishing a powerful base for the Catholic Church. The monasteries, which provided missionaries and teachers for generations to come, would significantly improve life in eighth-century Europe. More...

 
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