Saint Boniface Martyred by Frisians Hot

Saint Boniface Martyred by Frisians

Boniface Cutting Down a Sacred Tree

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Saint Boniface is martyred by a group of Frisians who kill him and his companions. Saint Boniface received from Pope Gregory II a commission to spread Christianity to the pagans in modern-day Germany.

Born Winfrid (Wynfrith or Wynfryth) in the kingdom of Wessex (modern-day Devon, England), he is given the name Boniface by the pope in honor of fourth-century martyr Boniface of Tarsus.

Because of his success converting the Germanic tribes, he also became known as the Apostle of the Germans and will be named the patron saint of Germany. Especially significant was the relationships Boniface developed with secular rulers of the Franks, particularly the Carolingians.

Perhaps the most famous event during Boniface's missionary work occurred in Hessia where, according to the stories, he cut down a tree which was believed to sacred to Thor. Boniface challenged Thor to strike him dead if he was really upset at the loss of the tree. Instead of lightning, however, came a strong wind which helped knock the large tree over. Large numbers of pagans proceeded to convert and Boniface used the wood to build a church.

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