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Apostle of Germany

Saint Boniface

Feast Day: June 5

Patron saint: of Germany and the Netherlands, brewers, file cutters and World Youth Day

Meaning of name: Bonifacius from the Latin bonum “good” and  fatum “fate.”

Claim to fame: To show a crowd how utterly powerless were the gods in whom they placed their confidence, Boniface felled an oak tree sacred to the pagan thunder-god Thor. The people were astonished that no thunderbolt from the hand of Thor destroyed him, and many converted to Christianity.

Why is he a saint? At the age of 30 he became a priest. He became a missionary and worked to Christianize the Frankish Empire during the 8th century. He not only expanded and built churches throughout Germany, but ensured that the political authorities and rulers were firmly committed to Christianity.

Best quote: “In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the church is like a ship pounded by the waves of life’s different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship, but to keep her on course.”

How he died: He baptized a great many Frisians and summoned a general meeting for confirmation. A group of armed inhabitants appeared who killed the archbishop. According to their law, the Frisians had the right to kill him, since he had destroyed their shrines.