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   home : Saint Medals - Men > St. Boniface
St. Boniface
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St. Boniface

Saint Boniface Patron Saint of Germany

Saint Boniface was born in Devon, England in 672.  His parents named him Winfrid and he came to be known as the Apostle of the Germans.  Saint Boniface was a missionary who brought the Christian faith to the Frankish Empire.  He was martyred in Frisia and is entombed in Fulda Cathedral.

Saint Boniface Missionary

Saint Boniface studied theology with the Benedictine monks in Southampton, England.  He taught in the Benedictine Abby School and wrote the first Latin grammar book in England.  He was ordained a priest at the age of thirty.

 St Boniface Patron Saint

Saint Boniface went on his first missionary trip to Frisia in 716.  He had high hopes of converting the people of Frisia using their own language.  Saint Boniface was discouraged because his progress was hindered by a war between Charles Martel and the King of Frisia.  He had to return to Nursling, frustrated and defeated.

Saint Boniface returned to Frisia and in 716 chopped down a sacred tree that the Frisians held dear.  The tree was dedicated to their god, Thor and miraculously toppled over while Saint Boniface was cutting it.  When Thor did not strike down Saint Boniface, the people of Frisia began converting to Christianity.  The dropping of Thor’s Oak Tree is considered the start of German Christianity
St. Boniface and the Christmas Tree

After Saint Boniface chopped down Thor’s tree, it is said that a fir tree grew in its place.  When Saint Boniface saw the fir tree, he spoke to the German people saying:

  •       This humble tree's wood is used to build your homes: let Christ be at the centre of your households.
  •        Its leaves remain evergreen in the darkest days: let Christ be your constant light.
  •        Its boughs reach out to embrace and its top points to heaven: let Christ be your comfort and your guide.

The evergreen tree became a symbol of Jesus Christ for the German people, and through time became the universal symbol of Christmas for all Christians.

Many Christians give a Christmas gift of a Saint Boniface medal, Saint Boniface charm, or Saint Boniface necklace in memory of this German missionary and the origin of the Christmas tree.

St Boniface Medal Pendant

St. Boniface


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