Definitions

Boniface

Boniface

[bon-uh-feys, -fis; for 4 also Fr. baw-nee-fas]
Boniface, Saint, c.675-754?, English missionary monk and martyr, called the Apostle of Germany, b. Devonshire, England. His English name was Winfrid. He was educated in the monastery of Nursling, near Winchester. In 716 he made his first trip to Friesland to aid the mission of St. Willibrord, but unsettled conditions forced his return to England. In 718 he left England for Rome where Pope Gregory II encouraged his missionary zeal and gave him the name Boniface. Under the protection of the Frankish ruler Charles Martel, Boniface and his companions made many converts in Thuringia, Hesse, Franconia, and Bavaria. His chopping down of Thor's famed sacred oak at Fritzlar symbolized the advance of Christianity in pagan Germany. He established an orderly Christianity there closely tied to the papacy. He became regionary bishop (722) and metropolitan of Germany (731), creating new bishoprics under the supervision of his English disciples. He founded monasteries at Reichenau (724), Murbach (728), and Fulda (744), which became important centers of learning. As papal legate he reformed (c.745) the decaying Frankish Church. He was consecrated (745) archbishop of Mainz. He was martyred by pagans in Friesland. Feast: June 5.

See his correspondence tr. by E. Kylie (1966).

Boniface, Saint, d. 1009, German missionary, known also by his lay name, Bruno of Querfurt. He evangelized the Balts and died a martyr. He is known as the Apostle of the Prussians. Feast: June 19.
Boniface, d. 432, Roman general. He defended (413) Marseilles against the Visigoths under Ataulf. Having supported Galla Placidia in her struggle with her brother, Emperor Honorius, Boniface fled to Africa in 422. There, as semi-independent governor, he supported (424) Valentinian III against the usurper John and was rewarded with the title count of Africa. Recalled in 427, he rebelled; a civil war between Africa and the imperial government began. This struggle prepared the way for the invasion (429) of Africa by the Vandals under Gaiseric. A truce was arranged between Africa and Rome, and Boniface attacked the Vandals. He was defeated and besieged (430) at Hippo; during the siege his good friend St. Augustine died. Beaten again in 431, Boniface was recalled to Italy by Placidia to assist her against the general Aetius. He defeated (432) Aetius but died of a wound received in the battle. The historian Procopius, without convincing evidence, held Boniface responsible for inviting the Vandals into Africa.

(born 675, Wessex, Eng.—died June 5, 754, Dokkum, Frisia; feast day June 5) English missionary and reformer. Originally named Wynfrith, he became a Benedictine monk and then a priest. He made two attempts to convert the Frisian Saxons; in 718 he journeyed to Rome, where Pope Gregory II entrusted him with a mission to the pagans east of the Rhine and gave him the name Boniface. In 722 at Hesse he founded the first of many Benedictine monasteries. He was active for 10 years (725–735) in Thuringia. He established four bishoprics in Bavaria, paving the way for its incorporation into the Carolingian empire. He convened five synods (740–745) to reform the Frankish clergy and Irish missionaries and a council (747) to reform the entire Frankish kingdom. He was killed by a band of Frisians while reading the Bible to recent converts.

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orig. Benedict Caetani

(born circa 1235, Anagni, Papal States—died Oct. 11, 1303, Rome) Pope (1294–1303). Born into an influential Roman family, Caetani studied law in Bologna and rose through the papal government to become cardinal-deacon (1281) and pope. In 1296 his attempt to end hostilities between Edward I of England and Philip IV of France became embroiled in the issue of taxation of clergy without papal consent. When Boniface issued a bull forbidding such taxation, Philip fought back with economic measures. They clashed again in 1301 over control of the clergy when Philip had a French bishop tried and imprisoned. Eventually, hearing that Boniface planned to excommunicate Philip, Philip's supporters captured the pope; though rescued two days later, he died shortly thereafter.

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Boniface (b. 1244 or 1245 – mortally wounded on battlefield in 1263) was Count of Savoy from 1253 to 1263, succeeding his father Amadeus IV. He never married and thus left no heir. He is not to be confused with his uncle Boniface of Savoy, Archbishop of Canterbury.

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