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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Catholic News World : Thursday June 5, 2014 - SHARE!

Election in Egypt - US Government voices concerns over Elections

Pope 
Vatican Radio) Pope Francis greeted the participants in an international meeting of Bishops and National Directors for the pastoral care of Gypsies  on Thursday, telling them that the Gypsy community is called to “contribute to the common good.” The theme of the conference was, “The Church and the Gypsies: Proclaiming the Gospel in the Peripheries.”
 “Gypsies are often at the margins of society, and sometimes are viewed with hostility and suspicion; they are not strongly involved in the political, economic and social landscape,” Pope Francis said. “We know it's a complex reality, but certainly the Gypsy people are also called on to contribute to the common good, and this is possible with adequate paths of shared responsibility, observing the obligations and promoting the rights of each one.”
The Holy Father pointed to factors leading to the poverty endemic in the community, including a lack of educational facilities, poor access to healthcare, discrimination in the labor market, and a lack of decent housing.
“If these wounds to the social fabric affects everyone without distinction, those groups who are most vulnerable are the ones most likely to be made victims of new forms of slavery,” said Pope Francis.
“In fact, those who have the least protection are the ones who fall into the trap of exploitation, forced into begging and other kinds of abuse,” he continued. “The gypsies are among the most vulnerable, above all when they lack help for integration and the promotion of the individual in various dimensions of civilized life.”
He said this is the area in which the Church has a contribution to make.
“The Gospel … is a proclamation of joy for everyone, and especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized,” he said.
He said the commitment of local and national institutions, with the support of the international community, is necessary in identifying projects and works aimed at improving the quality of life for gypsies.
“In the face of difficulties and hardships of our brothers, everyone should feel themselves called focus their attention on the dignity of every human person,” said the Pope. “Regarding the situation around the world,  today more than ever it is necessary to develop new approaches in the civil, cultural and social spheres,  as well as in the Church's pastoral strategy:  to cope with the challenges arising from modern forms of persecution, oppression, and  sometimes even slavery.”
Pope Francis concluded his remarks by encouraging the pastoral ministers in their work, and urging them to continue their engagement with those marginalized and most in need.
“The gypsies can find in you brothers and sisters who love them with the same love with which Christ has loved the most neglected,” he said. “Be for them a joyful and welcoming face of the Church.”
Shared From Radio Vatican
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Election in Egypt - US Government voices concerns over Elections

On Tuesday June 3, 2014 Abdel Fattah el-Sisi won the presidential elections in Egypt. He was the former military chief. Polls show that he won more than 96% of the vote. Hamdeen Sabahy, received 3.9% votes. Hosni Mubarak was removed during a July military coup. "We cannot give any credibility or ratification to the announced numbers of turnout or results," Sabahy said. "The announced results are an insult to the intelligence of the Egyptians." The White House although pleased that international observers were allowed cautiously explained, "we also share concerns raised by observation groups about the restrictive political environment in which this election took place." "As Egypt looks toward parliamentary elections later this year, we urge the government to consider the recommendations of the observer groups on ways to improve the administration of future elections," the White House said. 

Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost SHARE this Powerful Prayer


For More Novena Prayers, Breaking News and Free Catholic Movies LIKE http://fb.com/catholicnewsworld 

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY GHOST
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. / I adore the brightness of Your purity the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength / and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart! To be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light: and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You / by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds / and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart / I implore You / Adorable Spirit I Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere / “Speak Lord for Your servant heareth.” Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST
O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul / the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth / the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You I and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God find know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable / the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples / and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.
DAY 7 OF NOVENA 

Heal our wounds--our strength renews; On our dryness pour Thy dew, Wash the stains of guilt away.
The Gift of Counsel
The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. "Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth."
Prayer
Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do Thy holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of Thy commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long.


(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)


Novena Day 1 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-1-pentecost.html
Day 2 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/holy-spirit-novena-day-2-for-pentecost.html
Day 3 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/holy-spirit-novena-day-3-for-pentecost.html
Day 4 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-4-for.html
Day 5 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-5-for.html
Day 6 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-6-for.html
Day 7 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-7-for.html
Day 8 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-day-8-for.html
Day 9 http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2013/05/novena-day-9-to-holy-spirit-for.html 

Today's Mass Readings Online : Thursday June 5, 2014


Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 300


Reading 1ACTS 22:30; 23:6-11

Wishing to determine the truth
about why Paul was being accused by the Jews,
the commander freed him
and ordered the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to convene.
Then he brought Paul down and made him stand before them.

Paul was aware that some were Sadducees and some Pharisees,
so he called out before the Sanhedrin,
“My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees;
I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead.”
When he said this,
a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees,
and the group became divided.
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection
or angels or spirits,
while the Pharisees acknowledge all three.
A great uproar occurred,
and some scribes belonging to the Pharisee party
stood up and sharply argued,
“We find nothing wrong with this man.
Suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”
The dispute was so serious that the commander,
afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them,
ordered his troops to go down and rescue Paul from their midst
and take him into the compound.
The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage.
For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem,
so you must also bear witness in Rome.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 16:1-2A AND 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11

R. (1) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel JN 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.”

Assad wins Election in Syria - Only Government Controlled Voted - Please Pray

Asia News Report: In power since 2000, Syria's president succeeds himself by a wide margin. The other candidates fare bad. Three people are injured in post-election festivities.


Damascus (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Syrian President Bashar Assad won Tuesday's presidential election.
Parliamentary Speaker Jihad Laham yesterday announced the final results in Syria's first multi-candidate presidential poll.
Outgoing President Assad got more than 10 million votes, or 88,7 per cent. The other two candidates, Hassan al-Nouri and Maher Hajjar, won 4.3 and 3.2 per cent respectively.
This was Syria's first multi-candidate presidential election.
Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafez al-Assad, who ruled Syria from 1971 to 2000, were elected on previous occasions in which voters could choose yes or no for the only candidate.
Immediately after the results, festivities began in the capital. Three people were injured from gunfire in the air.
Many voters now hope that a popular mandate will help Assad end the three-year civil war that has caused 160,000 deaths and millions of refugees with repercussions felt across the region.
The election was held only in areas controlled by the government and about half the population took part.
The rebel opposition and the West described the poll as a "farce."

Delegations from more than 30 countries, including Russia and Iran, Syria's main backers, monitored the elections, saying they were held in conformity with the international rules.
Shared from Asia News IT 

Pope Francis "The Church is not a house to rent, it is a home to live in.”

Pope Francis at Mass in Santa Marta chapel on Thursday morning
05/06/2014
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta residence in the Vatican on Thursday. In remarks following the readings of the day, the Holy Father focused on the need to cultivate a real sense of belonging in and to the Church, and spoke of three temptations into which people who call themselves Christians often fall: “uniformism”, “alternative-ism” and “exploitation-ism”.
 Taking his cue from the Gospel reading of the day, which was from the 17th chapter of the Gospel according to St John, and contains Our Lord’s prayer for the unity of the Church, the Holy Father spoke of some people, who seem to have “one foot inside" and one foot outside the Church, so that they reserve “the possibility of being in both places,” both inside the Church and out of it. The Holy Father said that such as these do not really feel that the Church is their own. He said that there are some groups that, “rent the Church, but do not claim it as their home.” He identified three specific groups or kinds of Christians: he began with those, who would have everyone be equal in the Church, whom he called “uniformists”:
“Uniformity, rigidity – these are hard. They do not have the freedom that the Holy Spirit gives. They confuse the Gospel that Jesus preached, with their doctrine of equality. Christ never wanted His Church to be so rigid – never – and such as these, because of their attitude, do not enter the Church. They call themselves Christians, Catholics, but their attitude drives them away from the Church.”
The second group or kind of Christian the Holy Father identified is made up of those who always have their own ideas about things – people who do not want to conform their minds to the mind of the Church.  The Pope called these, “alternativists”:
"[They] enter the Church, but with this idea, with that ideology, and so their membership in the Church is partial. They have one foot out of the Church. The Church is not their home, not their own, either. They rent the Church at some point. Such as these have been with us from the beginning of the preaching of the Gospel: think of the Gnostics, whom the Apostle John beats so roundly, right?  ‘We are ... yes, yes ... we are Catholics, but with these ideas - alternatives.’ They do not share that feeling of belonging to the Church.”
The third is made of those, who call themselves Christians, but do not come from the heart of the Church. These are the “exploitationists” he said, “those who ‘seek the benefits’, and go to church, but for personal benefit, and end up doing business in the Church”:
“The businessmen. We know them well! They, too, have been there from the beginning: think of Simon Magus, or Ananias and Sapphira. They took advantage of the Church for their own profit. We see them in the parish or diocesan community, too, in religious congregations, among some benefactors of the Church – many, eh? They strut their stuff as benefactors of the Church, and at the end, behind the table, they do their business. These, too, do not feel the Church as a mother, as their own."
Pope Francis went on to consider that, in the Church, “There are many gifts, there is a great diversity of people and the gifts of the Spirit.” The Lord,” said Pope Francis, tells us, “If you would enter the Church, do so out of love,” in order “to give all your heart and not to do business for profit.” The Church, he remarked , “is not a house to rent,” the Church “is a home to live in.”
The Pope recognized that this is not easy, because, “the temptations are many.” Nevertheless, he stressed, it is the Holy Spirit, who achieves unity in the Church, “unity in diversity, freedom, generosity.” This, he said is the Holy Spirit’s task. “The Holy Spirit,” he added, “makes harmony in the Church - unity in the Church is harmony.”
“We are all different,” he noted, “we are not the same, thank God.” Otherwise, "Things would be hellish.” The Pope went on to say, “We are all called to be docile to the Holy Spirit.” Precisely this docility, the Pope said, “is the virtue that will save us from being rigid, from being alternativists, or exploitationists – or businessmen in the Church: being docile to the Holy Spirit.” It is precisely " this docility that transforms the Church from a rented house, into a home.”
Pope Francis concluded, saying, “May the Lord send us the Holy Spirit and may the Spirit make this harmony in our communities: parish communities, diocesan communities, the communities of the [ecclesial] movements – let it be the Spirit that achieves this harmony, for, as one of the Fathers of the Church said: the Spirit Himself is harmony.”
Shared From Radio Vaticana

Armenian Church Head Aram I meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican

Catholicos Aram I
05/06/2014
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Thursday met with Aram I, Catholicos of the Apostolic Armenian Church of Cilicia. The two men also prayed together in the Redemptoris Mater chapel in the Apostolic Palace.   The Catholicos  was also scheduled to visit the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity and other dicasteries of the Roman Curia during his 3-day visit to Rome
The full address of Pope Francis is below
Address of His Holiness Pope Francis, To His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenians, Your Holiness,
Dear Brothers in Christ,
                 It is a particular pleasure for me to extend to Your Holiness, and to the distinguished members of your delegation, a cordial greeting in the Lord Jesus.  It is a greeting which I also offer to the bishops, the clergy and all the faithful of the Catholicosate of Cilicia.  “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom  1:7).
                One month ago, I had the pleasure of receiving His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II.  Today I have the joy of welcoming Your Holiness, the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.  Together with you, I give thanks to the Lord for the continued growth of fraternal relations between us.  I consider it a true gift from God that we can share this moment of encounter and common prayer.
                Your Holiness’s commitment to the cause of Christian unity is known to all.  You have been especially active in the World Council of Churches and you continue to be most supportive of the Middle East Council of Churches, which plays such an important role in assisting the Christian communities of that region as they face numerous difficulties.  Nor can I fail to mention the significant contribution which Your Holiness and the representatives of the Catholicosate of Cilicia have made to the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches.  I am convinced that on our journey towards full communion we share the same hopes and a similar sense of responsibility as we strive to be faithful to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ.
                Your Holiness represents a part of the Christian world that is irrevocably marked by a history of trials and sufferings courageously accepted for the love of God.  The Armenian Apostolic Church has had to become a pilgrim people; it has experienced in a singular way what it means to journey towards the Kingdom of God.  The history of emigration, persecutions and the martyrdom experienced by so many of the faithful has inflicted deep wounds on the hearts of all Armenians.  We must see and venerate these as wounds inflicted on the very body of Christ, and for this very reason a cause for unfailing hope and trust in the provident mercy of the Father.
                Trust and hope.  How much these are needed!  They are needed by our Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East, especially those living in areas racked by conflict and violence.  But we too need them, as Christians who are spared such sufferings yet so often risk losing our way in the desert of indifference and forgetfulness of God, or living in conflict with out brothers and sisters, or succumbing in our interior struggle against sin.  As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to learn humbly to bear one another’s burdens and to help each other to be better Christians, better followers of Jesus.  So let us advance together in charity, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, offering himself to God as a pleasing sacrifice (cf. Heb  5:1-2).
                In these days before Pentecost, we prepare to relive in mystery the miracle of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the nascent Church.  In faith, let us invoke the Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, that he may renew the face of the earth, be a source of healing for our wounded world, and reconcile the hearts of all men and women with God the Creator.
                May he, the Paraclete, inspire our journey towards unity.  May he teach us to strengthen the fraternal bonds which even now unite us in the one baptism and in the one faith.  Upon all of us I invoke the protection of Mary, the All-Holy Mother of God, who was present in the Upper Room with the Apostles, that she may be for us the Mother of Unity.  Amen.

Saint June 5 : St. Boniface : Patron of Tailors and Brewers - Apostle of Germany

St. Boniface
BISHOP, MARTYR
Feast: June 5


Information:
Feast Day:June 5
Born:673-680 at Crediton, Devonshire, England
Died:5 June 754 at Dokkum, Freisland
Patron of:brewers; file cutters; tailors
Isolated missionary groups had penetrated central Germany in earlier times, but not until the eighth century was there a systematic effort to Christianize the vast pagan wilderness. To the English monk Boniface belongs the honor of opening up this region and creating a hierarchy under direct commission from the Holy See. Thirty-six years of missionary labor under difficult and dangerous conditions, ending at last in martyrdom, entitle this good and courageous man to the designation, "Apostle of Germany."
Boniface, or Winfrid, to give him his baptismal name, was born into a Christian family of noble rank, probably at Crediton in Devonshire, about the year 680. The reorganized English Church, still under the inspiration brought to it from Rome two generations earlier by Augustine of Canterbury, was full of fervor and vitality. Winfrid was a very small boy when he found himself listening to the conversation of some monks who were visiting his home. He resolved then to enter the Church, and this resolution never weakened. Winfrid's father had other plans for his clever son, but a serious illness altered his attitude, and he sent the boy to the neighboring abbey of Exeter to be educated. Some years later, Winfrid went to the abbey of Bursling, in the diocese of Winchester. After completing his studies there, he was appointed head of the school.
His teaching skill attracted many students, and for their use he wrote a grammar which is still extant. The pupils diligently took notes at his classes, and these were copied and circulated in other monasteries, where they were eagerly studied. At the age of thirty he was ordained priest, and now added preaching to teaching and administrative work.

Winfrid was assured of rapid advancement in the English Church, but God revealed to him that his work was to be in foreign lands, where need was greater. Northern Europe and most of Central Europe were still in pagan darkness. In Friesland, which then included modern Netherlands and lands to the east, the Northumbrian missionary Willibrord had long been striving to bring the Gospel to the people. It was to this region that Winfrid felt himself called. Having obtained the consent of his abbot, he and two companions set out in the spring of 716. Soon after landing at Doerstadt they learned that Duke Radbold of Friesland, an enemy of Christianity, was warring with Charles Martel, the Frankish duke, and that Willibrord had been obliged to retire to his monastery at Echternacht. Realizing that the time was inauspicious, the missionaries prudently returned to England in the autumn. Winfrid's monks at Bursling tried to keep him there, and wished to elect him abbot, but he was not to be turned from his purpose.

This first attempt had shown him that to be effective as a missionary he must have a direct commission from the Pope, so in 718, with commendatory letters from the bishop of Winchester, he presented himself in Rome before Gregory II.  The Pope welcomed him warmly, kept him in Rome until spring of the following year, when traveling conditions were favorable, and then sent him forth with a general commission to preach the word of God to the heathen. At this time Winfrid's name was changed to Boniface (from the Latin, , fortunate). Crossing the lower Alps, the missionary traveled through Bavaria into Hesse. Duke Radbold had died and his successor was more friendly. Going into Friesland, Boniface labored for three years under Willibrord, who was now very old. Boniface declined to become Willibrord's coadjutor and successor as bishop of Utrecht, saying that his commission had been general, "to the  heathen," and he could not be limited to any one diocese. He now returned to work in Hesse.

Boniface had little difficulty in making himself understood as a preacher, since the dialects of the various Teutonic tribes closely resembled his native Anglo-Saxon. He won the interest of two powerful local chieftains, Dettic and Deorulf, who at some previous time had been baptized. For lack of instruction they had remained little better than pagans; now they became zealous Christians and influenced many others to be baptized. They also gave Boniface a grant of land on which he later founded the monastery of Amoeneburg. Boniface was able to report such remarkable gains that the Pope summoned him back to Rome to be ordained bishop.

In Rome on St. Andrew's Day, November 30, 722, Pope Gregory II consecrated him as regionary bishop with a general jurisdiction over "the races in the parts of Germany and east of the Rhine who live in error, in the shadow of death." The Pope also gave him a letter to the powerful Charles Martel, "The Hammer." When Boniface delivered it to the Frankish duke on his way back to Germany, he received the valuable gift of a sealed pledge of Frankish protection. Armed thus with authority from both the Church and the civil power, the prestige of Boniface was vastly enhanced. On his return to Hesse, he decided to try to root out the pagan superstitions which seriously affected the stability of his converts. On a day publicly announced, and in the midst of an awe-struck crowd, Boniface and one or two of his followers attacked with axes Thor's sacred oak. These German tribes, along with many other primitive peoples, were tree-worshipers. Thor, god of thunder, was one of the principal Teutonic deities, and this ancient oak, which stood on the summit of Mt. Gudenberg, was sacred to him. After a few blows, the huge tree crashed to earth, splitting into four parts. The terrified tribesmen, who had expected a punishment to fall instantly on the perpetrators of such an outrage, now saw that their god was powerless to protect even his own sanctuary.

To signalize the victory, Boniface built a chapel on the spot. From that time the work of evangelization in Hesse proceeded steadily.

Moving east into Thuringia, Boniface continued his crusade. He found a few undisciplined Celtic and Irish priests, who tended to be a hindrance; many of them held heretical beliefs and others lived immoral lives. Boniface restored order among them, although his chief aim was to win over the pagan tribes. At Ohrdruff, near Gotha, he established a second monastery, dedicated to St. Michael, as a missionary center. Everywhere the people were ready to listen, but there was a critical lack of teachers. Boniface appealed to the English monasteries and convents, and their response was so wholehearted that for several years bands of monks, schoolmasters, and nuns came over to place themselves under his direction. The two monasteries already built were enlarged and new ones founded. Among the new English missionaries were Lullus, who was to succeed Boniface at Mainz, Eoban, who was to share his martyrdom, Burchard, and Wigbert; the nuns included Thecla, Chunitrude, and Boniface's beautiful and learned young cousin, Lioba, later to become abbess of Bischofsheim and friend of Hildegarde, Charlemagne's wife.

Pope Gregory III sent Boniface the pallium in 731, appointing him archbishop and metropolitan of all Germany beyond the Rhine, with authority to found new bishoprics. A few years later Boniface made his third trip to Rome to confer about the churches he had founded, and at this time he was appointed apostolic legate. Stopping at Monte Cassino, he enlisted more missionaries. In his capacity as legate he traveled into Bavaria to organize the Church there into the four bishoprics of Regensburg, Freising, Salzburg, and Passau. From Bavaria he returned to his own field and founded new bishoprics at Erfurt for Thuringia, Buraburg for Hesse, Wurzburg for Franconia, and Eichstadt for the Nordgau. An English monk was placed at the head of each new diocese. In 741 the great Benedictine abbey at Fulda was founded in Prussia to serve as the fountainhead of German monastic culture. Its first abbot was Boniface's young Bavarian disciple, Sturm or Sturmio. In the early Middle Ages Fulda produced a host of scholars and teachers, and became known as the Monte Cassino of Germany.

While the evangelization of Germany was proceeding steadily, the Church in Gaul, under the Merovingian kings, was disintegrating. High ecclesiastical offices were either kept vacant, sold to the highest bidder, or bestowed on unworthy favorites. Pluralism, the holding by one man of many offices, each of which should demand his full time, was common. The great mass of the clergy was ignorant and undisciplined. No synod or church council had been held for eighty-four years. Charles Martel had been conquering and consolidating the regions of western Europe, and now regarded himself as an ally of the papacy and the chief champion of the Church, yet he had persistently plundered it to obtain funds for his wars and did nothing to help the work of reform. His death, however, in 74I, and the accession of his sons, Carloman and Pepin the Short, provided an opportunity which Boniface quickly seized. Carloman, the elder, was very devout and held Boniface in great veneration; Boniface had no trouble in persuading him to call a synod to deal with errors and abuses in the Church in Austrasia, Alemannia, and Thuringia.

The first assembly was followed by several others. Boniface presided over them all, and was able to carry through many important reforms. The vacant bishoprics and parishes were filled, discipline reestablished, and fresh vigor infused into the Frankish Church.

A heretic who had been creating much disturbance, one Adalbert of Neustria, was condemned by the synod of Soissons in 744. In 747 another general council of the Frankish clergy drew up a profession of faith and fidelity which was sent to Rome and laid upon the altar in the crypt of St. Peter's. After five years' labor Boniface had succeeded in restoring the Church of Gaul to its former greatness.

Now Boniface desired that Britain too should share in this reform movement. At his request and that of Pope Zacharias, the archbishop of Canterbury held a council at Clovesho, in 747, which adopted many of the resolutions passed in Gaul. This was also the year when Boniface was given a metropolitan see. Cologne was at first proposed as his cathedral city, but Mainz was finally chosen. Even when Cologne and other cities became archiepiscopal sees, Mainz retained the primacy. The Pope also made Boniface primate of Germany as well as apostolic legate for both Germany and Gaul.

Carloman now retired to a monastery, but his successor, Pepin, who brought all Gaul under his control, gave Boniface his support. "Without the patronage of the Frankish chiefs," Boniface wrote in a letter to England, "I cannot govern the people or exercise discipline over the clergy and monks, or check the practice of paganism." As apostolic legate, Boniface crowned Pepin at Soissons in 75I, thus giving papal sanction to the assumption of royal power by the father of Charlemagne. Boniface, beginning to feel the weight of his years, made Lullus his coadjutor. Yet even now, when he was past seventy, his missionary zeal burned ardently. He wished to spend his last years laboring among those first converts in Friesland, who, since Willibrord's death, were relapsing once more into paganism. Leaving all things in order for Lullus, who was to become his successor, he embarked with some fifty companions and sailed down the Rhine. At Utrecht the party was joined by Eoban, bishop of that diocese. They set to work reclaiming the relapsed Christians, and during the following months made fruitful contact with the hitherto untouched tribes to the northeast. Boniface arranged to hold a great confirmation service on Whitsun Eve on the plain of Dokkum, near the banks of the little river Borne.

While awaiting the arrival of the converts, Boniface was quietly reading in his tent.

Suddenly a band of armed pagans appeared in the center of the encampment. His companions would have tried to defend their leader, but Boniface would not allow them to do so. Even as he was telling them to trust in God and welcome the prospect of dying for Him, the Germans attacked. Boniface was one of the first to fall; his companions shared his fate. The pagans, expecting to carry away rich booty, were disgusted when they found, besides provisions, only a box of holy relics and a few books They did not bother to carry away these objects, which were later collected by the Christians who came to avenge the martyrs and rescue their remains. The body of Boniface was carried to Fulda for burial, and there it still rests. The book the bishop was reading and which he is said to have lifted above his head to save it when the blow fell is also one of Fulda's treasures.

Boniface has been called the pro-consul of the papacy. His administrative and organizing genius left its mark on the German Church throughout the Middle Ages.

Though Boniface was primarily a man of action, his literary remains are extensive.

Especially interesting and important from the point of view of Church dogma and history are his letters. Among the emblems of Boniface are an oak, an axe, a sword, a book.


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/B/stboniface.asp#ixzz1wuwLr1wN

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