Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Marking ministry of Saint Boniface

BY the time these words have been published a celebration day will have passed.

June 5 is when the Church remembers St Boniface (754).

So who was he and why do we still remember his important ministry ?

St Boniface was born in Devon, probably in Crediton. His parents were free, land-owning peasants.

Boniface was educated in monasteries, first in Exeter and then as a monk and schoolmaster when he wrote the first Latin grammar in England.

At the age of 30 he was ordained a priest.

His knowledge of scripture enabled him to be a successful teacher and preacher and he became known outside his monastery.

But instead of a career in England he chose to leave and became a missionary.

It was in Rome in 718 that he received a mission to preach the Gospel and he was given techniques of evangelisation.

With the use of monasteries, staffed in part by English monks and nuns, he developed centres of Christianity and civilisation.

In 732 he was made an archbishop and in 738 he wrote his famous letter to the English people asking them for their prayers and help in the work of conversion.

The importance of Boniface was not only in his pioneering of missionary work but more in the organisation of the Church.

After his death letters about him were written by the Bishop of Worcester and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

We should note that an English Synod at the Celebration of his Feast decided that they regarded him as their special patron.

St Boniface never became a principal saint in England but his Feast of June 5 was widely celebrated because of his writing, teaching and pioneering missionary and evangelistic ministry.

And now we are reminded on June 10 of his important ministry and that his Feast on June 5 was kept.

Thus readers of the Henley Standard can share the ministry of St Boniface.

More News:

POLL: Have your say