An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


(c. 680-June 5, 754). The “Apostle of Germany,” he was born near Crediton in Devonshire, England, and was originally named Winfred. He was educated in abbeys at Exeter and Nursling, near Winchester. Boniface spent most of his life doing missionary work in Frisia, Thuringia, Hesse, and Bavaria. He was consecrated bishop in 722, was made archbishop in 732 by Pope Gregory III, and named a papal legate in 739. Boniface established numerous Benedictine monasteries, of which Fulda was the most famous. Under papal authority, he established the archiepiscopal see at Mainz in about 743. In 752, with the consent of Pope Zecharias, Boniface anointed Pippin King of the Franks, which gave divine sanction to the change of rulers. After a few years at Mainz he resigned as archbishop to return to his missionary work in Frisia. On June 5, 754, while on a mission to the Frisians, Boniface and some companions were killed by a band of pagans near Dokkum. His missionary work helped to spread papal influence north of the Alps. Boniface is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on June 5.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.