St. Boniface

Feast Day: June 5

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By Catholic Digest Staff

Feast Day: June 5

Armed with a papal letter and the formidable seal of the leader of the Franks, Boniface the scholar dauntlessly declared war on the traditions of the Norse gods in 722. Wielding an axe, he once fearlessly attacked the oak tree of Geismar, the god of thunder and patron of warriors. The terrified populace, consisting of violent nomadic tribes watched, waiting for the gods to retaliate and strike him dead. Instead, he immediately split the healthy oak into four pieces. He built a chapel to Saint Peter with the wood, and a flood of conversions followed. A brilliant academic, Boniface would convert and reform a countless number of people and preside over five reforming synods. When he was over eighty years old and traveling in a wild and dangerous area, his group was attacked and killed by hostile tribesman. The monastery where he is buried treasures the book he had been reading at the time of the attack, its wooden cover dented with sword cuts. It is said that the book was used to ward off the first blows while he urged his younger companions to save themselves.

Catholic Digest Staff