Today we celebrate the feast of St. Boniface who was an English Benedictine monk and became a missionary to Germany. Legend has it that in 723, Boniface, while a missionary in Germany, announced that he intended to chop down a “holy” oak tree dedicated to the pagan god Thor. The local people told Boniface that he would be struck dead by Thor if he touched the tree. Boniface began chopping at the tree when a sudden wind came and blew the tree down. Boniface did not die and the people of that region converted to Christianity. Boniface was put to death in 754 while in the process of proclaiming his faith. Boniface was an example of missionaries who proclaim their beliefs by the actions of their daily lives and are prepared to die for their beliefs. We are invited to do the same. St. Boniface, pray for us.
By Joyce Iten, OSB