St. Mary's Anglican Catholic Church

Diocese of the Midwest

The Church celebrates the feast of St Boniface, bishop & martyr, on June 5th. An Anglo-Saxon originally named Winfrid, he was born in Crediton in the Kingdom of Wessex circa 675AD.
Contrary to his father’s wishes, Winfrid entered the monastic life at an early age; and he studied & taught at the monastery at Nursling near Winchester. Though expected to succeed as abbot of Nursling, Winfrid instead went to Frisia in the Low Countries in 716, working alongside St Willibrord of Utrecht to convert the pagans living there; though the Frisians proved tough nuts to crack. Winfrid later travelled to Rome, where Pope Gregory II renamed him Boniface after a 4th-century martyr-saint; and the pope commissioned the Anglo-Saxon to serve as a missionary bishop in Germany. Boniface established several dioceses, later becoming the metropolitan/archbishop of Mainz; and he is known in tradition as the “apostle of Germany.” 
According to several lives written about the saint, Boniface chopped down the Donar Oak (the “Oak of Jupiter”) sacred to the German pagans. As the Bishop struck the pagans’ oak, a mighty wind came to his aid; and the tree fell to the ground. When their gods failed to smite Boniface in retaliation, the people converted to Christ and were baptized. The Bishop then built a chapel with the wood of the fallen oak. In 754, Boniface made another attempt to convert the pagan Frisians. He and his companions were set upon by heathen freebooters and killed. When some of his armed fellows tried to resist, Boniface called out: “Lay down your arms, for we are told in Scripture not to render evil for good but to overcome evil by good.” (See Romans 12:21) One of the relics of St Boniface is the Ragyndrudis Codex, a Gospel book the martyr held aloft for spiritual protection as he shared in the baptism of Christ with his own blood (see St Mark 10:38-39; Romans 6:4-11; Revelation 7:14); and that book bears incisions made by the sword that killed Boniface, the apostle to Germany.