Boniface or Bonifacius, Archbishop of Mayence

Boniface Or Bonifacius, Archbishop Of Mayence, the papal Apostle of Germany. His baptismal name was Winfred. He was born at Crediton, England, about 680. At thirty years of age he was ordained priest, and in 716 he passed over into Friesland, to assist the aged Wilbrod, then at Utrecht. He returned shortly after to England, but in 718 departed a second time for Hessen and Friesland, taking with him letters commendatory from Daniel, bishop of Winchester. In the autumn of this year he went to Rome, and was appointed by Gregory II missionary for the Germans eastward of the Rhine. He commenced his labors in Thuringia and Bavaria, after which he passed through Hessen and Saxony, baptizing the people and consecrating churches. In 723 Pope Gregory recalled him to Rome and consecrated him bishop, whereupon he took the name of Bonifacius. In 732 he received the pallium, together with the primacy over all Germany, and power to erect such bishoprics as he thought fit. In virtue of this authority, he founded the sees of Freisingen and Ratisbon, in Bavaria (in addition to the original see of Passau); Erfurt, in Thuringia; Baraburg (afterward Paderborn), in Westphalia; Wiirtzburg, in Franconia; Eichstadt, in the Palatinate of Bavaria; and re-established Juvavia, or Salzburg. In 745 he was raised to the archiepiscopal see of Mayence. Ten years after this he returned to his apostolical labors in Friesland, where he preached, and converted many thousands; but, while he was preparing to give to them the rite of confirmation, he was suddenly attacked by a furious troop of pagans at a place called Dockum, where he perished, together with fifty-two of his companions, June 5, 755. He is commemorated by the Roman Church on June 5. The biographies of Boniface are numerous; among them Gieseler, Leben Bonifacius (Erlangen, 1800); Loffler, Bonifacius, hist. Nachr. v. seinem Leben (Gotha, 1812); Schmerbauch, Eonifacius, Apostel der Deutschen (Erfurt, 1827); Seiters (R. C.), Bontfacius, Apostel der Teutschen (Mainz, 1845, 8vo). A graphic and genial popular sketch of him is given by Neander (Light in Dark Places, p. 217). The writings ascribed to Boniface are collected in Opera quce extant omnia, ed. J. A. Giles, LL.D. (Lond. 1844, 2 vols. 8vo).-Mosheim, Ch. Hist. ii, vi; Neander, Ch. Hist. 3:46-119; Bdhringer, Kirche Christi, ii, 63; Soames, Lat. Chin Ang.-Sax. Times, 228 sq.; Landon, Ecc. Dic. ii, 327.

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