Saint Boniface, "The Apostle to the Germans" was not a German. He came from a little Devon town in southern England. He studied at a monastery close by and in the early 700s went to the Continent to share the Christian teaching with the still unconverted Franks and Belgians. He preached in the northern areas of present day Belgium, the Netherlands and northern Germany with extraordinary success and is still seen as the man who turned Germany to Christianity. He was martyred in 754 in Frisia by bandits who expected to find riches among the travelers possessions. The body of Boniface was taken to the church in Fulda where he remains to this day.  Boniface was important in three ways for Germany.  First, he organized the growing German church. Through his efforts to reorganize and regulate the church of the Franks, he helped shape the Latin Church in Europe, and many of the dioceses he proposed remain today. He also helped shape the doctrine and practices of the German church to bring it into conformity with the teaching of the Vatican. Most important of all, he was the creator of the alliance between the Papacy and the Carolingian dynasty. This alliance was going to bring into existence the Holy Roman Empire, one of the dominant institutions of the Middle Ages. See below, a Medieval Illuminated book illustration that shows Boniface baptizing and Boniface being murdered.




Steven Ozment,

A Mighty Fortress: A New History of the German People,

Harper Perennial,

ISBN 0060934832

Gordon A. Craig,

The Germans,


ISBN 0452010853