Daily Martyrology for June 5

In Frisia, in 754, St. Boniface, bishop and martyr, the apostle of Germany. He was born in Devon, and educated in a local monastery and then at the abbey of Nursling, where he was a very effective teacher. When he was he forty, following in the footsteps of Sts. Wilfrid (October 12) and Willibrord (November 7), he left England to do missionary work in Frisia and Germany. With a mandate from Pope Gregory II, he evangelized and organized the German church. He founded many monasteries, and recruited missionaries from English monasteries, such as his cousin Lull, who succeeded him as archbishop of Mainz, Sturmi, abbot of Fulda, Burchard, bishop of Würzburg, and Lioba, abbess of Bischofstein. In 741, Boniface was called to reorganize the Frankish church. In his old age, he resigned his positions and went back to Frisia as a missionary. There, while waiting for some candidates for Confirmation, his party was attacked by robbers. He refused to fight back and was killed. Christopher Dawson judged that Boniface “had a deeper influence on the history of Europe than any [other] Englishman who ever lived.”

In 1036, at Paderborn, Blessed Meinwerk, bishop. He trained for the priesthood at Hildesheim, where he became friends with the future emperor Henry II (July 13). Later Henry had him appointed bishop of Paderborn. Meinwerk spent his own considerable fortune and a significant amount of Henry’s on his poor diocese and city, where he founded several monasteries and a school.

In 1443, Blessed Ferdinand of Portugal. The son of King John I of Portugal and an English mother, he was appointed head of a military order formed to fight the Moors. He was captured in Ceuta and died some years later, still in captivity.

Tomorrow is the name day of Father Prior Boniface Lautz. He is recommended to our prayers.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.