Prepared by S.G.Smith, Crediton, Devonshire, England
Wynfrith (St. Boniface) born in Crediton approximately 680AD and died 754AD.
Plaque at Tolleys Crediton.
He studied at the Benedictine Monastery at Nursling, near South Hampton, where he proved to be so able and respected, that when the old Abbott died, Wynfrith was offered his place, but he felt called to be a missionary and in 716 set sail to convert the heathen tribes of Frisia. He gained a reputation of being an extraordinary missionary and administrator, and it was now that the Pope gave him the name Boniface. In 722 Pope Gregory II made him Bishop of all Germany, east of the Rhine.
Boniface then started on thirty years of missionary work in Hesse, and Thuringia. He tackled superstition including the felling of Thors sacred Oak at Geismar by his own hand in front of hostile tribesman and thereby laying the foundations of a flourishing new church, in 731 he was made Archbishop, and crowned Pepin king of all the Franks at Soissons in 751, which ensured the alliance between the Frankish crown and the Papacy which was the foundation of Charlemagne's Holy Roman Empire thirty years later. At the age of seventy he once again set out to tame the wild tribes of Frisia. On the fifth of June 754 he and his companians were surprised at dawn by heathen warriors near Dokkum. Boniface was struck down by a sword which pierced the Holy book that he had raised to shield his head. He was buried at Fulda in accordance with his wishes.
To see a 640x480 image click on a picture.
St. Boniface Catholic Church and National Shrine.
The Catholic Church at Crediton was built in 1969 and contains a foundation stone from the Ratgar Basilica in Fulda, where St. Boniface is buried. This was given to the Church by the Bishop of Fulda. The National Shrine also contains the Relic of St. Boniface. This is a small piece of bone of St. Boniface which is encased in a two inch long silver locket type casket, and was presented to the Shrine many years ago.
Casket containing the Relic of St. Boniface.
Photograph of Relic courtesy of Crediton Country Courier.
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The information contained in this web page is correct to the best of my knowledge.