FOR THE LOVE OF GOD From Wynfrith to Saint Boniface

Born in Credition, England somewhere between 672 en 675. From an early age on, he wanted to devote his life to GOD and entered a monastery at the age of 6.
At the age of around 30 he was ordained as priest and became the head of the monastery-school of Nutschalling, now Nursling. Wynfrith was a learned man and quickly made a name as teacher, writer, historian and the first book on latin grammar in English was written by him. He was destined to become abbot, but his heart he wanted to be a missionary on the European continent.
Although, full of fire in his soul, his first journey to Friesland in 716 became a failure due to a war between the Franks and the Friesians, which the Friesians won. They saw the missionaries as agents of the Franks.
Pope Gregory III Entrusts Boniface with a Mission to the Heathens (15 May 719)

Gregory, the servant of the servants of God, to Boniface, a holy priest.

Your holy purpose, as it has been explained to us, and your well-tried faith lead us to make use of your services in spreading the Gospel, which by the grace of God has been committed to our care. Knowing that from your childhood you have been a student of Sacred Scripture and that you now wish to use the talent entrusted to you by God in dedicating yourself to missionary work, we rejoice in your faith and desire to have you as our colleague in this enterprise. Wherefore., since you have humbly submitted to us your plans regarding this mission, like a member of the body deferring to the head, and have shown yourself to be a true member of the body by following the directions given by the head, therefore, in the name of the indivisible Trinity and by the authority of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, whose government we administer in this See by the dispensation of God, we now place your humble and devout work upon a secure basis and decree that you go forth to preach the Word of God to those people who are still bound by the shackles of paganism. You are to teach them the service of the kingdom of God by persuading them to accept the truth in the name of Christ, the Lord our God. You will instil into their minds the teaching of the Old and New Testaments, doing this in a spirit of love and moderation, and with arguments suited to their understanding. Finally, we command you that in admitting within the Church those who have some kind of belief in God you will insist upon using the sacramental discipline prescribed in the official ritual formulary of the Holy Apostolic See. Whatever means you find lacking in the furtherance of your work, you are to report to us as opportunity occurs.

Fare you well

Wynfrith was named "Boniface" by Pope Gregory III and was a Bishop without a seat. With the help of the Franks he became the "Apostle of the Germans"., with his most famous deed, the felling of the Holy Oak near Geismar.
His mission was more, than just bringing the Gospel to the heathen of Germany. His aim was to cleanse the clerics from disgraceful behaviour, such as indulging in the pleasure's of the flesh.

From a letter to Pope Zacharias

"I have further to seek your advice, Holy Father, in connection with a perplexing and scandalous report that has lately reached our ears. It has greatly disturbed us and filled the bishops of the Church with shame. A certain layman of high rank came to us and asserted that Gregory, of blessed memory, Pontiff of the Apostolic See, had granted him permission to marry his uncle's widow. This woman had previously married her own cousin and deserted him during his lifetime. She is known to be related in the third degree to the man who wishes to marry her and who now declares that the necessary permission has been granted. Furthermore, before her first marriage she had made a solemn vow of chastity and, after taking the veil, threw it aside.

For this marriage the man states that he has permission from the Holy See. This we cannot accept as true. For, at a Synod of the Church beyond the sea, where I was born and bred, namely, the Synod of London, convoked by the disciples of St. Gregory, the archbishops, Augustine, Laurence, Justus and Mellitus, such a marriage was declared on the authority of Holy Scripture to be a heinous crime, an incestuous and execrable union and a damnable sm. For this reason, I beg you, Holy Father, to state the truth of the matter, so that it may not give rise to scandals, dissensions and new errors among the clergy and the faithful.

Because the sensual and ignorant Allemanians, Bavarians and Franks see that some of these abuses which we condemn are rife in Rome, they think that the priests there allow them, and on that account they reproach us and take bad example. They say that in Rome, near the church of St. Peter, they have seen throngs of people parading the streets at the beginning of January of each year, shouting and singing songs in pagan fashion, loading tables with food and drink from morning tin night, and that during that time no man is willing to lend his neighbour fire or tools or anything useful from his own house. They recount also that they have seen women wearing pagan amulets and bracelets on their arms and legs and offering them for sale. All such abuses witnessed by sensual and ignorant people bring reproach upon us here and frustrate our work of preaching and teaching. Of such matters the Apostle says reprovingly: " You have begun to observe special days and months, special seasons and years. I am anxious over you: has all the labour I have spent on you been useless? "

And St. Augustine says: " The man who puts his faith in such nonsense as incantations, fortune-tellers, soothsayers, amulets or prophecies of any sort, even though he fasts and prays and runs continually to church, giving alms and doing all kinds of penances, gains nothing as long as he clings to such sacrilegious practices."

If Your Holiness would put an end to these heathen customs in Rome it would redound to your credit besides promoting the success of our teaching of the faith.

Frankish bishops and priests, whose reputation as adulterers and fornicators was notorious, whose children, born during their episcopate or priesthood, are living witnesses to their guilt, now declare on their return from Rome that the Roman Pontiff has granted them full permission to exercise their offices in the Church. Our answer to them is that we have never heard of the Apostolic See giving judgment contrary to the canonical decrees.

All these matters, beloved master, we bring to in order that we may give these men an authoritative r we, under your guidance and instruction, overcome an these ravening wolves and prevent the sheep from being astray.

Finally, we are sending you some small gifts, a warm rug and little silver and gold. Though they are too trifling to be offered to Your Holiness, they come as a token of our affection and our devoted obedience.

May God protect Your Holiness and may you enjoy health and long life in Christ.

At a high age, Boniface went on a second journey to Friesland to baptise the Friesians. However, in the early morning on June, the 5th 754 or 755 he was murdered along with 52 other's near Dokkum.

For the love of GOD he gave his life and soon after his death he was rewarded with sainthood. The saint of traveler's and brewer's.

His last resting place in Fulda, Germany.

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