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Catholic Culture

Lord, your martyr Boniface spread the faith by his teaching and witnessed to it with his blood. By the help of his prayers keep us loyal to our faith and give us courage to profess it in our lives. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

June 05, 2006 Month Year Season

Memorial of St. Boniface, bishop and martyr

Old Calendar: St. Boniface

St. Boniface, a monk of Exeter in England, is one of the great figures of the Benedictine Order and of the monastic apostolate in the Middle Ages. Gregory II sent him to preach the Gospel in Germany. He evangelized Hesse, Saxony and Thuringia and became Archbishop of Mainz. He well earned the title of Apostle of Germany, and Catholic Germany in our own times still venerates him as its father in the faith. He was put to death by the Frisians at Dokkum in 754 during the last of his missionary journeys. The famous abbey of Fulda, where his body lies, has remained the national shrine of Catholic Germany.

St. Boniface
A Benedictine monk was chosen by divine Providence to become Germany's great apostle and patron. Boniface's first missionary endeavor proved unsuccessful (716). Before attempting a second he went to Rome and received papal authorization (718). Under the holy bishop Willibrord he converted Frisia within a period of three years. On November 30, 722, Boniface was consecrated bishop by Pope Gregory II.

In 724 he turned his attention to the Hessian people, among whom he continued his missionary activity with renewed zeal. On an eminence near the village of Geismar on the Eder, he felled a giant oak that the people honored as the national sanctuary of the god Thor. Boniface used the wood to build a chapel in honor of St. Peter. This courageous act assured the eventual triumph of the Gospel in Germany.

The resident clergy and the priests dwelling at the court, whose unworthy lives needed censure, were constantly creating difficulties. Nevertheless Boniface continued to labor quietly, discreetly. He prayed unceasingly, put his trust in God alone, recommended his work to the prayers of his spiritual brothers and sisters in England. And God did not abandon him. Conversions were amazingly numerous. In 732 Gregory III sent him the pallium, the insignia of the archiepiscopal dignity. Boniface now devoted his time and talent to the ecclesiastical organization of the Church in Germany. He installed worthy bishops, set diocesan boundaries, promoted the spiritual life of the clergy and laity, held national synods (between 742 and 747), and in 744 founded the monastery of Fulda, which became a center of religious life in central Germany. In 745 he chose Mayence for his archiepiscopal see, and affiliated to it thirteen suffragan dioceses. This completed the ecclesiastical organization of Germany.

The final years of his busy life were spent, as were his earlier ones, in missionary activity. Word came to him in 754 that a part of Frisia had lapsed from the faith. He took leave of his priests and, sensing the approach of death, carried along a shroud. He was 74 years of age when with youthful enthusiasm he began the work of restoration, a mission he was not to complete. A band of semi-barbarous pagans overpowered and put him to death when he was about to administer confirmation to a group of neophytes at Dockum.

Patron: Brewers; Tailors; Germany; Prussia.

Symbols: Axe; book; raven; scourge; sword; sword piercing heart; Bible transfixed by sword; fallen oak; book and pen; scourge; club; fox; axe and fallen oak of Thor.

Things to Do:

  • One tradition about Saint Boniface says that he used the customs of the locals to help convert them. There was a game in which they threw sticks called kegels at smaller sticks called heides. Boniface bought religion to the game, having the heides represent demons, and knocking them down showing purity of spirit. You might use your ingenuity to imitate this game for your children and tell them the story of St. Boniface.

  • When reading more about St. Boniface, you will discover that his baptized name was Winfrid. He took the name Boniface either when he took religious profession as a Benedictine, or when Pope Gregory II consecrated him as a regional bishop. More details can be found at Catholic Encyclopedia's entry.

  • St. Boniface was the uncle of St. Walburga. St. Boniface worked with many other canonized saints in his evangelization of Germany. Find out which saints these were.

  • Patron Saints Index provides several letters to and from Saint Boniface.

  • St. Boniface, although an Englishman, planted the seeds of the Catholic Faith in Germany (at that time "Germany" included the domains of the Frankish monarchs, present-day Belgium and the Netherlands), and now Germany calls St. Boniface her patron. Bake some special German cookies or treat and learn some of the religious customs that come from this country.

16 posted on 06/05/2006 8:35:44 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Lauds -- Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer (Lauds)

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.

O God, come to my aid.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

A suitable hymn may be inserted at this point.

Psalm 5
A morning prayer for help
Let my words come to your ears, O Lord: hear my sighs.
Listen to the voice of my crying, my King and my God.

As I pray to you in the morning, Lord, listen to my voice; in the morning I will stand before you and await you.
You are not a God who loves evil. The wicked cannot stay near you, the unjust cannot remain in your presence.

You hate all who do evil – you destroy all who speak falsehood – the Lord abominates the bloody and deceitful man.
But in the abundance of your mercy you will admit me to your house: I will worship you in your holy temple, with fear and reverence.

Lord, guide me in your justice, protect me from my enemies: let me see the path I must follow.
For there is no truth in their mouth – their heart is a bottomless pit – their throat is a wide open grave – their tongue seduces.
Punish them, Lord, and let their own plans destroy them. On account of their crimes, thrust them from your presence; for they are rebels against you.

Let all who hope in you rejoice, triumph for ever.
You will shelter them and they will glory in you.
For you bless the just, O Lord, and your good will surrounds them like a shield.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.

Canticle 1 Chronicles 29
To God alone be honour and glory
Blessed are you, Lord, God of our father Israel, through all the ages.
All power and greatness are yours, O God; glory, splendour, and majesty.
All things are yours, in the heavens and on the earth; you rule over them, Lord, you are high above them all.
All riches and glory come from you, you rule over all things.

In your hand lie strength and power, your hand raises all things and sets them firm.
So now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.

Psalm 28 (29)
Praise the word of the Lord
Give to the Lord, all his children, his glory and power, give to the Lord the glory of his name.
Worship the Lord in holy splendour.

The voice of the Lord is heard over the waters: the God of majesty thunders, God above all the waters.
The voice of the Lord in his power, the voice of the Lord in his greatness.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars, the Lord breaks down the cedars of Lebanon.
The Lord makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a wild ox.

The voice of the Lord cuts flames in two; the voice of the Lord beats on the desert, the Lord stuns the desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord puts the deer to flight, it empties the thickets; in his sanctuary, all praise his glory.

The Lord dwells above the raging flood, he is enthroned as king for ever.
The Lord will give strength to his people, the Lord will bless his people with peace.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.
A short Bible reading and responsory may follow here.
Canticle Benedictus
The Messiah and his forerunner
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has come to his people and brought about their redemption.
He has raised up the sign of salvation in the house of his servant David,
as he promised through the mouth of the holy ones, his prophets through the ages:
to rescue us from our enemies and all who hate us, to take pity on our fathers,
to remember his holy covenant and the oath he swore to Abraham our father,
that he would give himself to us, that we could serve him without fear – freed from the hands of our enemies –
in uprightness and holiness before him, for all of our days.

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High: for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his path,
to let his people know their salvation, so that their sins may be forgiven.
Through the bottomless mercy of our God, one born on high will visit us
to give light to those who walk in darkness, who live in the shadow of death;
to lead our feet in the path of peace.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
 world without end.

Some short prayers may follow here, to offer up the day's work to God.
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
 hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
 thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
 and forgive us our trespasses
 as we forgive those that trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
 but deliver us from evil.
A concluding prayer may follow here.

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all harm; and may he lead us to eternal life.

17 posted on 06/05/2006 8:37:18 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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