Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Lament, Psalms 25, Tobit 3:1-16 , Mark 12:18-27, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Lamenting one’s suffering to God is not a sin, but a prayer of the heart that reaches the Lord, St. Boniface, Fulda Cathedral, Frisia, Catholic Catechism Part Two: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH - Chapter 4:2 Christian Funerals

Wednesday,  June 5, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Lament, Psalms 25, Tobit 3:1-16 , Mark 12:18-27, Pope Francis Daily Homily - Lamenting one’s suffering to God is not a sin, but a prayer of the heart that reaches the Lord, St. Boniface, Fulda Cathedral,  Frisia, Catholic Catechism Part Two: THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH - Chapter 4:2 Christian Funerals 

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe (fear of the Lord) , counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and piety (reverence) and shun the seven Deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony...Its your choice whether to embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit rising towards eternal light or succumb to the Seven deadly sins and lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to the Darkness, Purgatory or Heaven is our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...~ Zarya Parx 2013

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Prayers for Today: Wednesday in Easter

Rosary - Glorious Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis June 5 General Audience Address :

"Lamenting one’s suffering to God is not a sin, 

but a prayer of the heart that reaches the Lord"

(2013-06-05 Vatican Radio)
"Lamenting one’s suffering to God is not a sin, but a prayer of the heart that reaches the Lord": this was Pope Francis’ reflection at Mass Wednesday morning in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence at the Vatican, with the presence of some members of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and of the Vatican Apostolic Library. Among others, the Prefect of the Congregation, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera; Archbishop Joseph DiNoia, secretary of the same Congregation; and Monsignor Cesare Pasini, Prefect of the Library. L

The story of Tobit and Sarah, reported in the first reading of the day, was the focus of the Pope’s homily: Two just people who live dramatic situations. The first is blinded despite his performing good works, even risking his life, and the second marries seven men in turn, each of whom dies before their wedding night. Both, in their great sorrow, pray to God to let them die. “They are people in extreme situations,” explained Pope Francis, “and they seek a way out.” He said, “They complain,” but, “they do not blaspheme.”:

“To lament before God is not a sin. A priest I know once said to a woman who lamented to God about her misfortune: ‘But, madam, that is a form of prayer. Go ahead [with it].’ The Lord hears, He listens to our complaints. Think of the greats, of Job, when in chapter III (he says): ‘Cursed be the day I came into the world,’ and Jeremiah, in the twentieth chapter: ‘Cursed be the day’ – they complain even cursing, not the Lord, but the situation, right? It is only human.”

The Holy Father also reflected on the many people who live borderline cases: malnourished children, refugees, the terminally ill. He went on to observe that, in the Gospel of the day, there are the Sadducees who present to Jesus the difficult case of a woman, who is the widow of seven men. Their question, however, was not posed with sincerity:

“The Sadducees were talking about this woman as if she were a laboratory, all aseptic - hers was an [abstract] moral [problem]. When we think of the people who suffer so much, do we think of them as though they were an [abstract moral conundrum], pure ideas, ‘but in this case ... this case ...’, or do we think about them with our hearts, with our flesh, too? I do not like it when people speak about tough situations in an academic and not a human manner, sometimes with statistics ... and that’s it. In the Church there are many people in this situation.”

The Pope said that in these cases, we must do what Jesus says, pray:
“Pray for them. They must come into my heart, they must be a [cause of] restlessness for me: my brother is suffering, my sister suffers. Here [is] the mystery of the communion of saints: pray to the Lord, ‘But, Lord, look at that person: he cries, he is suffering. Pray, let me say, with the flesh: that our flesh pray. Not with ideas. Praying with the heart.”

And the prayers of Tobit and Sarah, which they offer up to the Lord even despite their asking to die, give us hope, because they are accepted by God in His own way, who does not let them die, but heals Tobit and finally gives a husband to Sara. Prayer, he explained, always reaches God, [so long as] it is prayer from the heart.” Instead, “when it is [an abstract exercise], such as that the Sadducees were discussing, never reaches him, because it never goes out of ourselves: we do not care. It is an intellectual game.” In conclusion, Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray for those who live dramatic situations and who suffer as much as Jesus on the cross, who cry, “Father, Father, why have you forsaken me?” Let us pray - he concluded – “so that our prayer reaches [heaven] and let it be [a source of] hope for all of us.”


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope: Summer

Vatican City, Summer2013 (VIS)
Following is the calendar of celebrations scheduled to be presided over by the Holy Father for the Summer of 2013:


16 June, 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time: 10:30am, Mass for “Evangelium Vitae” Day in St. Peter's Square.

29 Saturday, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul: 9:30am, Mass and imposition of the pallium upon new metropolitans in the papal chapel.

The Prefecture of the Papal Household has released Pope Francis' agenda for the summer period, from July through to the end of August. Briefing journalists, Holy See Press Office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed that the Pope will remain 'based ' at the Casa Santa Marta residence in Vatican City State for the duration of the summer.

As per tradition, all private and special audiences are suspended for the duration of the summer. The Holy Father's private Masses with employees will end July 7 and resume in September. The Wednesday general audiences are suspended for the month of July to resume August 7 at the Vatican.

7 July, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time: 9:30am, Mass with seminarians and novices in the Vatican Basilica.

14 July Sunday , Pope Francis will lead the Angelus prayer from the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.

Pope Francis will travel to Brazil for the 28th World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro from Monday July 22 to Monday July 29. 


  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 06/05/2013.


June 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, in this restless time, anew I am calling you to set out after my Son - to follow Him. I know of the pain, suffering and difficulties, but in my Son you will find rest; in Him you will find peace and salvation. My children, do not forget that my Son redeemed you by His Cross and enabled you, anew, to be children of God; to be able to, anew, call the Heavenly Father, "Father". To be worthy of the Father, love and forgive, because your Father is love and forgiveness. Pray and fast, because that is the way to your purification, it is the way of coming to know and becoming cognizant of the Heavenly Father. When you become cognizant of the Father, you will comprehend that He is all you need. I, as a mother, desire my children to be in a community of one single people where the Word of God is listened to and carried out.* Therefore, my children, set out after my Son. Be one with Him. Be God's children. Love your shepherds as my Son loved them when He called them to serve you. Thank you." *Our Lady said this resolutely and with emphasis.

May 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:“Dear children! Today I call you to be strong and resolute in faith and prayer, until your prayers are so strong so as to open the Heart of my beloved Son Jesus. Pray little children, pray without ceasing until your heart opens to God’s love. I am with you and I intercede for all of you and I pray for your conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

May 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children; Anew, I am calling you to love and not to judge. My Son, according to the will of the Heavenly Father, was among you to show you the way of salvation, to save you and not to judge you. If you desire to follow my Son, you will not judge but love like your Heavenly Father loves you. And when it is the most difficult for you, when you are falling under the weight of the cross do not despair, do not judge, instead remember that you are loved and praise the Heavenly Father because of His love. My children, do not deviate from the way on which I am leading you. Do not recklessly walk into perdition. May prayer and fasting strengthen you so that you can live as the Heavenly Father would desire; that you may be my apostles of faith and love; that your life may bless those whom you meet; that you may be one with the Heavenly Father and my Son. My children, that is the only truth, the truth that leads to your conversion, and then to the conversion of all those whom you meet - those who have not come to know my Son - all those who do not know what it means to love. My children, my Son gave you a gift of the shepherds. Take good care of them. Pray for them. Thank you."


Today's Word:  lament  la·ment  [luh-ment]  

Origin:  1520–30;  (noun) < Latin lāmentum  plaint; (v.) < Latin lāmentārī,  derivative of lāmentum
verb (used with object)
1.  to feel or express sorrow or regret for: to lament his absence.
2.  to mourn for or over.
verb (used without object)
3.  to feel, show, or express grief, sorrow, or regret.
4.  to mourn deeply.
5. an expression of grief or sorrow.
6. a formal expression of sorrow or mourning, especially in verse or song; an elegy or dirge.


Today's Old Testament Reading -   Psalms 25:2-9

2 to you, my God. BUT in my trust in you do not put me to shame, let not my enemies gloat over me.
3 CALLING to you, none shall ever be put to shame, but shame is theirs who groundlessly break faith.
4 DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your paths.
5 ENCOURAGE me to walk in your truth and teach me since you are the God who saves me. FOR my hope is in you all day long -- such is your generosity, Yahweh.
6 GOODNESS and faithful love have been yours for ever, Yahweh, do not forget them.
7 HOLD not my youthful sins against me, but remember me as your faithful love dictates.
8 INTEGRITY and generosity are marks of Yahweh for he brings sinners back to the path.
9 JUDICIOUSLY he guides the humble, instructing the poor in his way.


Today's Epistle -  Tobit 3:1-11, 16

1 Then, sad at heart, I sighed and wept, and began this prayer of lamentation:
2 You are just, O Lord, and just are all your works. All your ways are grace and truth, and you are the Judge of the world.
3 Therefore, Lord, remember me, look on me. Do not punish me for my sins or for my needless faults or those of my ancestors.
4 For we have sinned against you and broken your commandments; and you have given us over to be plundered, to captivity and death, to be the talk, the laughing-stock and scorn of all the nations among whom you have dispersed us.
5 And now all your decrees are true when you deal with me as my faults deserve, and those of my ancestors. For we have neither kept your commandments nor walked in truth before you.
6 So now, do with me as you will; be pleased to take my life from me; so that I may be delivered from earth and become earth again. Better death than life for me, for I have endured groundless insult and am in deepest sorrow. Lord, be pleased to deliver me from this affliction. Let me go away to my everlasting home; do not turn your face from me, O Lord. Better death for me than life prolonged in the face of unrelenting misery: I can no longer bear to listen to insults.
7 It chanced on the same day that Sarah the daughter of Raguel, who lived in Media at Ecbatana, also heard insults from one of her father's maids.
8 For she had been given in marriage seven times, and Asmodeus, the worst of demons, had killed her bridegrooms one after another before ever they had slept with her as man with wife. The servant-girl said, 'Yes, you kill your bridegrooms yourself. That makes seven already to whom you have been given, and you have not once been in luck yet.
9 Just because your bridegrooms have died, that is no reason for punishing us. Go and join them, and may we be spared the sight of any child of yours!'
10 That day, she grieved, she sobbed, and she went up to her father's room intending to hang herself. But then she thought, 'Suppose they were to blame my father! They would say, "You had an only daughter whom you loved, and now she has hanged herself for grief." I cannot cause my father a sorrow which would bring down his old age to the dwelling of the dead. I should do better not to hang myself, but to beg the Lord to let my die and not live to hear any more insults.'
11 And at this, by the window, with outstretched arms she said this prayer: You are blessed, O God of mercy! May your name be blessed for ever, and may all things you have made bless you everlastingly.
16 This time the prayer of each of them found favour before the glory of God,


Today's Gospel Reading -  Mark 12,18-27

Then some Sadducees -- who deny that there is a resurrection -- came to Jesus and they put this question to him, 'Master, Moses prescribed for us that if a man's brother dies leaving a wife but no child, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married a wife and then died leaving no children. The second married the widow, and he too died leaving no children; with the third it was the same, and none of the seven left any children. Last of all the woman herself died. Now at the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be, since she had been married to all seven?' Jesus said to them, 'Surely the reason why you are wrong is that you understand neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For when they rise from the dead, men and women do not marry; no, they are like the angels in heaven. Now about the dead rising again, have you never read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him and said: I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? He is God, not of the dead, but of the living. You are very much mistaken.'

• In today’s Gospel the confrontation between Jesus and the authority continues. After the priests, the elders and the Scribes (Mk 12, 1-12) and the Pharisees and the Herodians (Mk 12, 13-17), now the Sadducees appear who ask a question about resurrection. A controversial theme, which caused argument and discussion among the Sadducees and the Pharisees (Mk 12,18-27; cf. At 23,6-1).

• In the Christian communities of the years seventy, the time when Mark wrote his Gospel, there were some Christians who, in order not to be persecuted, tried to reconcile the project of Jesus with the project of the Roman Emperor. The others who resisted the Empire were persecuted, accused and questioned by the authority of by the neighbours who felt annoyed, bothered by their witness. The description of the conflicts of Jesus with the authority was a very great help in order that the Christians did not allow themselves to be manipulated by the ideology of the Empire. In reading these episodes of conflict of Jesus with authority, the persecuted Christians were encouraged to continue on this road.

• Mark 12, 18-23. The Sadducees: The Sadducees were the aristocratic elite of land owners and traders. They were conservative. They did not accept faith in the Resurrection. At that time, this faith was beginning to be evaporated by the Pharisees and popular piety. It urged to the resistance of the people against the dominion of the Romans, and of the priests, of the elders and of the Sadducees themselves. For the Sadducees, the Messianic Kingdom was already present in the situation of well-being in which they were living. They followed the so called “Theology of Retribution” which distorted reality. According to this Theology God rewards with richness and well-being those who observe the Law of God, and he punishes with suffering and poverty those who do evil. This makes one understand why the Sadducees did not want changes. They wanted that religion remain as it was, immutable like God himself. This is why they did not accept the faith in the Resurrection and in the help of the angels, who sustained the struggle of those who sought changes and liberation.

• Mark 12,19-23. The question of the Sadducees: They go to Jesus to criticize and to ridicule the faith in the Resurrection, to tell about the fictitious case of the woman who got married seven times and at the end she died without having any children. The so called Law of the levirate obliged the widow who had no children to marry the brother of the deceased husband. The son who would have been born from this new marriage would be considered the son of the deceased husband. And thus he would have descent. But in the case proposed by the Sadducees, the woman, in spite of the fact of having had seven husbands, remained without a husband. They asked Jesus: “In the Resurrection, when they will rise, to whom will the woman belong? Because seven had her as wife!” This was in order to say that to believe in the resurrection led the person to accept what was absurd.

• Mark 12, 24-27: The response of Jesus. Jesus responds harshly: Surely, the reason why you are wrong is that you understand neither the Scriptures nor the power of God“. Jesus explains that the condition of persons after death will be totally different from the present condition. After death there will be no marriage, but all will be as the angels in Heaven. The Sadducees imagined life in Heaven as life on earth. And at the end Jesus concludes: “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living! You are in great error”. The disciples are warned: those who are on the side of these Sadducees will be on the side opposite to God.

Personal questions
• Today, which is the sense of this phrase: God is not the God of the dead but of the living”?
• Do I also believe the same thing in the resurrection? What does the following mean for me: “I believe in the resurrection of the body and in life everlasting?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St Boniface

Feast DayJune 5

Patron Saint:  brewers; Fulda; Germany; World Youth Day

Saint Boniface (Latin: Bonifatius) (c. 7th century – 5 June 754), the Apostle of the Germans, born Winfrid, Wynfrith, or Wynfryth in the kingdom of Wessex, probably at Crediton (now in Devon, England), was a missionary who propagated Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 8th century. He is the patron saint of Germany and the first archbishop of Mainz. He was killed in Frisia in 754, along with 52 others. His remains were returned to Fulda, where they rest in a sarcophagus which became a site of pilgrimage. Facts about Boniface's life and death as well as his work became widely known, since there is a wealth of material available—a number of vitae, especially the near-contemporary Vita Bonifatii auctore Willibaldi, and legal documents, possibly some sermons, and above all his correspondence.

Norman F. Cantor notes the three roles Boniface played that made him "one of the truly outstanding creators of the first Europe, as the apostle of Germany, the reformer of the Frankish church, and the chief fomentor of the alliance between the papacy and the Carolingian family."[1] Through his efforts to reorganize and regulate the church of the Franks, he helped shape Western Christianity, and many of the dioceses he proposed remain until today. After his martyrdom, he was quickly hailed as a saint in Fulda and other areas in Germany and in England. His cult is still notably strong today. Boniface is celebrated (and criticized)[2] as a missionary; he is regarded as a unifier of Europe, and he is seen (mainly by Catholics) as a German national figure.

Early life and first mission to Frisia

Prayer card, early 20th century, depicting Boniface leaving England
The earliest Bonifacian vita does not mention his place of birth but says that at an early age he attended a monastery ruled by abbot Wulfhard in escancastre,[3] or Examchester,[4] which seems to denote Exeter, and may have been one of many monasteriola built by local landowners and churchmen; nothing else is known of it outside the Bonifacian "vitae".[5] Later tradition places his birth at Crediton, but the earliest mention of Crediton in connection to Boniface is from the early fourteenth century,[6] in John Grandisson's Legenda Sanctorum: The Proper Lessons for Saints' Days according to the use of Exeter.[7]

According to the vitae, Winfrid was of a respected and prosperous family. Against his father's wishes he devoted himself at an early age to the monastic life. He received further theological training in the Benedictine monastery and minster of Nhutscelle (Nursling),[8] not far from Winchester, which under the direction of abbot Winbert had grown into an industrious centre of learning in the tradition of Aldhelm.[9] Winfrid taught in the abbey school and at the age of 30 became a priest; in this time, he wrote a Latin grammar, the Ars Grammatica, besides a treatise on verse and some Aldhelm-inspired riddles.[10] While little is known about Nursling outside of Boniface's vitae, it seems clear that the library there was significant. In order to supply Boniface with the materials he needed, it would have contained works by Donatus, Priscian, Isidore, and many others.[11] Around 716, when his abbot Wynberth of Nursling died, he was invited (or expected) to assume his position—it is possible that they were related, and the practice of hereditary right in early Anglo-Saxon would affirm this.[12] Winfrid, however, declined the position and in 716 set out on a missionary expedition to Frisia.

Early missionary work in Frisia and Germania

Saint Boniface felling Donar's Oak
Boniface first left for the continent in 716. He traveled to Utrecht, where Willibrord, the "Apostle of the Frisians," had been working since the 690s. He spent a year with Willibrord, preaching in the countryside, but their efforts were frustrated by the war then being carried on between Charles Martel and Radbod, king of the Frisians. Willibrord fled to the abbey he had founded in Echternach (in modern-day Luxembourg) while Boniface returned to Nursling.

Boniface returned to the continent the next year, and this time went straight to Rome, where Pope Gregory II renamed him "Boniface", after the (legendary) fourth-century martyr Boniface of Tarsus, and appointed him missionary bishop for Germania—he became a bishop without a diocese for an area that lacked any church organization. He would never return to England, though he remained in correspondence with his countrymen and kinfolk throughout his life.

According to the vitae Boniface felled the Donar Oak, Latinized by Willibald as "Jupiter's oak," near the present-day town of Fritzlar in northern Hesse. According to his early biographer Willibald, Boniface started to chop the oak down, when suddenly a great wind, as if by miracle, blew the ancient oak over. When the god did not strike him down, the people were amazed and converted to Christianity. He built a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter from its wood at the site[13]—the chapel was the beginning of the monastery in Fritzlar. This account from the vita is stylized to portray Boniface as a singular character who alone acts to root out paganism. Lutz von Padberg and others point out that what the vitae leave out is that the action was most likely well-prepared and widely publicized in advance for maximum effect, and that Boniface had little reason to fear for his personal safety since the Frankish fortified settlement of Büraburg was nearby.[14] According to Willibald, Boniface later had a church with an attached monastery built in Fritzlar,[15] on the site of the previously built chapel, according to tradition.[16]

Boniface and the Carolingians

Fulda Sacramentary, Saint Boniface baptizing (top) and being martyred (bottom)
The support of the Frankish mayors of the palace (maior domos), and later the early Pippinid and Carolingian rulers, was essential for Boniface's work. Boniface had been under the protection of Charles Martel from 723 on. The Christian Frankish leaders desired to defeat their rival power, the non-Christian Saxons, and to incorporate the Saxon lands into their own growing empire. Boniface's destruction of indigenous Germanic pagan sites may have benefited the Franks in their campaign against the Saxons.

In 732, Boniface traveled again to Rome to report, and Pope Gregory III conferred upon him the pallium as archbishop with jurisdiction over Germany. Boniface again set out for what is now Germany, baptized thousands, and dealt with the problems of many other Christians who had fallen out of contact with the regular hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. During his third visit to Rome in 737–38, he was made papal legate for Germany.

After Boniface's third trip to Rome, Charles Martel erected four dioceses in Bavaria (Salzburg, Regensburg, Freising, and Passau) and gave them Boniface as archbishop and metropolitan over all Germany east of the Rhine. In 745, he was granted Mainz as metropolitan see. In 742, one of his disciples, Sturm (also known as Sturmi, or Sturmius), founded the abbey of Fulda not far from Boniface's earlier missionary outpost at Fritzlar. Although Sturm was the founding abbot of Fulda, Boniface was very involved in the foundation. The initial grant for the abbey was signed by Carloman, the son of Charles Martel, and a supporter of Boniface's reform efforts in the Frankish church. The saint himself explained to his old friend, Daniel of Winchester, that without the protection of Charles Martel he could “neither administer his church, defend his clergy, nor prevent idolatry.”

According to German historian Gunther Wolf, the high point of Boniface's career was the Concilium Germanicum, organized by Carloman in an unknown location in April 743. While Boniface was not able to safeguard the church from property seizures by the local nobility, he did achieve one goal, the adoption of stricter guidelines for the Frankish clergy,[17] which often hailed directly from the nobility. After Carloman's resignation in 747 he maintained a sometimes turbulent relationship with the king of the Franks, Pepin; the claim that he would have crowned Pepin at Soissons in 751 is now generally discredited.[18]

Boniface balanced this support and attempted to maintain some independence, however, by attaining the support of the papacy and of the Agilolfing rulers of Bavaria. In Frankish, Hessian, and Thuringian territory, he established the dioceses of Würzburg, and Erfurt. By appointing his own followers as bishops, he was able to retain some independence from the Carolingians, who most likely were content to give him leeway as long as Christianity was imposed on the Saxons and other Germanic tribes.

Last mission to Frisia

Saint Boniface crypt, Fulda
According to the "vitae", Boniface had never relinquished his hope of converting the Frisians, and in 754 he set out with a retinue for Frisia. He baptized a great number and summoned a general meeting for confirmation at a place not far from Dokkum, between Franeker and Groningen. Instead of his converts, however, a group of armed inhabitants appeared who slew the aged archbishop. The vitae mention that Boniface persuaded his (armed) comrades to lay down their arms: "Cease fighting. Lay down your arms, for we are told in Scripture not to render evil for good but to overcome evil by good."[19]

Having killed Boniface and his company, the Frisian bandits ransacked their possessions and got drunk on the wine remaining among the provisions, and then started killing each other, arguing over the division of the booty. The surviving "freebooters" found that the company's luggage did not contain the riches they had hoped for: "they broke open the chests containing the books and found, to their dismay, that they held manuscripts instead of gold vessels, pages of sacred texts instead of silver plates."[20] They attempted to destroy these books, the earliest vita already says, and this account underlies the status of the Ragyndrudis Codex, now held as a Bonifacian relic in Fulda, and supposedly one of three books found on the field by the Christians who inspected it afterward. Of those three books, the Ragyndrudis Codex shows incisions that could have been made by sword or axe; its story appears confirmed in the Utrecht hagiography, the Vita altera, which reports that an eye-witness saw that the saint at the moment of death held up a gospel as spiritual protection.[21] The story was later repeated by Otloh's vita; at that time, the Ragyndrudis Codex seems to have been firmly connected to the martyrdom.

His remains were eventually buried in the abbey of Fulda after resting for some time in Utrecht, and they are entombed within a shrine beneath the high altar of Fulda Cathedral, previously the abbey church.


Saint Boniface memorial in Fritzlar, Germany
Saint Boniface's feast day is celebrated on 5 June in the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Anglican Communion and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

A famous statue of Saint Boniface stands on the grounds of Mainz Cathedral, seat of the archbishop of Mainz. A more modern rendition stands facing the cathedral of Fritzlar.

The UK National Shrine is located at the Catholic church at Crediton, Devon, which has a bas-relief of the felling of Thor's Oak, by sculptor Kenneth Carter. The sculpture was unveiled by Princess Margaret in his native Crediton, located in Newcombes Meadow Park. There is also a series of paintings there by Timothy Moore. There are quite a few churches dedicated to St. Boniface in the United Kingdom: Bunbury, Cheshire; Chandler's Ford and Southampton Hampshire; Adler Street, London; Papa Westray, Orkney; St Budeaux, Plymouth (now demolished); Bonchurch, Isle of Wight; Cullompton, Devon.

Bishop George Errington founded St Boniface's Catholic College, Plymouth in 1856. The school celebrates Saint Boniface on 5 June each year.

In 1818, Father Norbert Provencher founded a mission on the east bank of the Red River in what was then Rupert's Land, building a log church and naming it after St. Boniface. The log church was consecrated as Saint Boniface Cathedral after Provencher was himself consecrated as a bishop and the diocese was formed. The community that grew around the cathedral eventually became the city of St. Boniface, which merged into the city of Winnipeg in 1971.

Saint Boniface also has a Roman Catholic church dedicated to him in the diocese of Lafayette in Indiana in the United States of America. It was started by German immigrants in 1853 and the present church building was completed in 1865. The parish was in the care of the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscan Fathers) of the Cincinnati Province between 1875 and 1991 and now is staffed by diocesan priests. The strong influence of its German heritage is still felt in the parish through the many families who have attended St. Boniface for generations and its annual Germanfest. More recently, the parish has been home to many of Lafayette's growing Mexican-American population.[22]

St. Boniface Church, Chicago was established by German immigrants in 1865, with the current building dating from 1903. The church, although of significant architectural interest, fell into disuse in 1990 and its future is in doubt.

St. Boniface Catholic Church in Cold Spring, Minnesota reached its 130 year anniversary in 2008. There is another St. Boniface Roman Catholic church in Anaheim, California.

Wimbledon, North Dakota has a St. Boniface Catholic Church that was established in 1886 and is still an active parish.

St. Boniface Catholic Church in Stuart, Nebraska was established in 1899 and celebrated the parish centennial in August of 1999. The parish is still going strong. The original frame church was built at a cost of about $1400.00 under the guidance of Father Emil Klemenz. In 1911 a new brick church was built to replace the frame structure. In recent years the building has been updated with an enclosed front entry and an elevator. The parish had three vocations to the priesthood. Father Leopold Blaschko offered his first Mass on April 10, 1917, Father Joseph L. Kaup offered his first Mass on September 23, 1943, and Father Adrian Laible offered his first Mass on May 29, 1958. Forty two young women became nuns.


Some traditions credit Saint Boniface with the invention of the Christmas tree. The vitae mention nothing of the sort. However, it is mentioned on a BBC-Devon website, in an account which places Geismar in Bavaria,[23] and in a number of educational books, including St. Boniface and the Little Fir Tree,[24] The Brightest Star of All: Christmas Stories for the Family,[25] The American normal readers.[26] and a short story by Henry van Dyke, "The First Christmas Tree."[27]

Sources and writings


Saint Boniface statue in Fulda, Germany
The earliest "Life" of Boniface was written by a certain Willibald, an Anglo-Saxon priest who came to Mainz after Boniface's death,[28] around 765. Willibald's biography was widely dispersed; Levison lists some forty manuscripts.[29] According to his lemma, a group of four manuscripts including Codex Monacensis 1086 are copies directly from the original.[30]

Listed second in Levison's edition is the entry from a late ninth-century Fulda document: Boniface's status as a martyr is attested by his inclusion in the Fulda Martyrology which also lists, for instance, the date (1 November) of his translation in 819, when the Fulda Cathedral had been rebuilt.[31]

The next vita, chronologically, is the Vita altera Bonifatii auctore Radbodo, which originates in the Bishopric of Utrecht, and was probably revised by Radboud of Utrecht (899-917). Mainly agreeing with Willibald, it adds an eye-witness who presumably saw the martyrdom at Dokkum. The Vita tertia Bonifatii likewise originates in Utrecht. It is dated between 917 (Radboud's death) and 1075, the year Adam of Bremen wrote his Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, which used the Vita tertia.[32][33]

A later vita, written by Otloh of St. Emmeram (1062–1066), is based on Willibald's and a number of other vitae as well as the correspondence, and also includes information from local traditions.


Boniface engaged in regular correspondence with fellow churchmen all over Western Europe, including the three popes he worked with, and with some of his kinsmen back in England. Many of these letters contain questions about church reform and liturgical or doctrinal matters. In most cases, what remains is one half of the conversation, either the question or the answer. The correspondence as a whole gives evidence of Boniface's widespread connections; some of the letters also prove an intimate relationship especially with female correspondents.[34]

There are 150 letters in what is generally called the Bonifatian correspondence, though not all them are by Boniface or addressed to him. They were assembled by order of archbishop Lullus, Boniface's successor in Mainz, and were initially organized into two parts, a section containing the papal correspondence and another with his private letters. They were reorganized in the eighth century, in a roughly chronological ordering. Otloh of St. Emmeram, who worked on a new vita of Boniface in the eleventh century, is credited with compiling the complete correspondence as we have it.[35]

The correspondence was edited and published already in the seventeenth century, by Nicolaus Serarius.[36] Stephan Alexander Würdtwein's 1789 edition, Epistolae S. Bonifacii Archiepiscopi Magontini, was the basis for a number of (partial) translations in the nineteenth century. The first version to be published by Monumenta Germaniae Historica (MGH) was the edition by Ernst Dümmler (1892); the most authoritative version until today is Michael Tangl's 1912 Die Briefe des Heiligen Bonifatius, Nach der Ausgabe in den Monumenta Germaniae Historica, published by MGH in 1916.[37] This edition is the basis of Ephraim Emerton's selection and translation in English, The Letters of Saint Boniface, first published in New York in 1940; it was republished most recently with a new introduction by Thomas F.X. Noble in 2000.


Some fifteen preserved sermons are traditionally associated with Boniface, but that they were actually his is not generally accepted.

Grammar and poetry

Early in his career, before he left for the continent, Boniface wrote an Ars Grammatica, a grammatical treatise presumably for his students in Nursling. Helmut Gneuss reports that one manuscript copy of the treatise originates from (the south of) England, mid-eighth century; it is now held in Marburg, in the Hessisches Staatsarchiv.[38] He also wrote a treatise on verse, the Caesurae uersuum, and a collection of riddles, the Enigmata, influenced greatly by Aldhelm and containing many references to works of Vergil (the Aeneid, the Georgics, and the Eclogues).[39]

Anniversary and other celebrations

Boniface's death (and birth) has given rise to a number of noteworthy celebrations. The dates for some of these celebrations have undergone some changes: in 1805, 1855, and 1905 (and in England in 1955) anniversaries were calculated with Boniface's death dated in 755, the "Mainz tradition"; Michael Tangl's dating of the martyrdom in 754 was not accepted until after 1955. Celebrations in Germany centered on Fulda and Mainz, in the Netherlands on Dokkum and Utrecht, and in England on Crediton and Exeter.

Celebrations in Germany: 1805, 1855, 1905

Coin minted for the Boniface anniversary in Fulda, 1905
The first German celebration on a fairly large scale was held in 1805 (the 1150th anniversary of his death), followed by a similar celebration in a number of towns in 1855; both of these were predominantly Catholic affairs, which emphasized the role of Boniface in German history as opposed to Protestant views on the role of Martin Luther, and especially the 1855 celebrations were an expression of German Catholic nationalism. In 1905, when strife between Catholic and Protestant factions had eased (one Protestant church published a celebratory pamphlet, Gerhard Ficker's Bonifatius, der "Apostel der Deutschen"), there were modest celebrations and a publication for the occasion on historical aspects of Boniface and his work, the 1905 Festgabe by Gregor Richter and Carl Scherer. In all, the content of these early celebrations showed evidence of the continuing question about the meaning of Boniface for Germany, though the importance of Boniface in cities associated with him was without question.[40]

1954 celebrations

In 1954, celebrations were widespread, in England, Germany, and the Netherlands, and a number of these celebrations were international affairs. Especially in Germany, these celebrations had a distinctly political note to them and often stressed Boniface as a kind of founder of Europe, such as when Konrad Adenauer, the (Catholic) German chancellor, addressed a crowd of 60,000 in Fulda, celebrating the feast day of the saint in a European context: "Das, was wir in Europa gemeinsam haben, [ist] gemeinsamen Ursprungs" ("What we have in common in Europe comes from the same source").[41]

Papal visit, 1980

When Pope John Paul II visited Germany in November 1980, he spent two days in Fulda (17 and 18 November). He celebrated mass in Fulda Cathedral with 30,000 gathered on the square in front of the building, and met with the German Bishops' Conference (held in Fulda since 1867). The pope next celebrated mass outside the cathedral, in front of an estimated crowd of 100,000, and hailed the importance of Boniface for German Christianity: "Der heilige Bonifatius, Bischof und Märtyrer, bedeutet den 'Anfang' des Evangeliums und der Kirche in Eurem Land" ("The holy Boniface, bishop and martyr, signifies the beginning of the gospel and the church in your country")."[42] A photograph of the pope praying at Boniface's grave became the centerpiece of a prayer card distributed from the cathedral.

2004 celebrations

In 2004, anniversary celebrations were held throughout Northwesternand Utrecht, and Fulda and Mainz—generating a great amount of academic and popular interest. The event occasioned a number of scholarly studies, esp. biographies (for instance, by Auke Jelsma in Dutch, Lutz von Padberg in German, and Klaas Bruinsma in Frisian), and a fictional completion of the Boniface correspondence (Lutterbach, Mit Axt und Evangelium).[43] A German musical proved a great commercial success,[44] and in the Netherlands an opera was staged.[45]

Scholarship on Boniface

The literature on the saint and his work is extensive. At the time of the various anniversaries, edited collections were published containing essays by some of the best-known scholars of the time, such as the 1954 collection Sankt Bonifatius: Gedenkgabe zum Zwölfhundertsten Todestag[46] and the 2004 collection Bonifatius--Vom Angelsäschsischen Missionar zum Apostel der Deutschen.[47] In the modern era, Lutz von Padberg published a number of biographies and articles on the saint focusing on his missionary praxis and his relics. The most authoritative biography[48] is still Theodor Schieffer's Winfrid-Bonifatius und die Christliche Grundlegung Europas.


  1. ^ Cantor 167-68.
  2. ^ Van der Goot 1-2, 17.
  3. ^ Levison 6.
  4. ^ Talbot 28.
  5. ^ Schieffer 76-77; 103-105.
  6. ^ Orme.
  7. ^ Levison xxix.
  8. ^ Levison 9.
  9. ^ Schieffer 105-106.
  10. ^ Gneuss 38.
  11. ^ Gneuss 37-40.
  12. ^ Yorke.
  13. ^ Levison 31-32.
  14. ^ von Padberg 40-41>
  15. ^ Levison 35.
  16. ^ Rau 494 n.10.
  17. ^ Wolf 2-5.
  18. ^ Wolf 5.
  19. ^ Talbot 56.
  20. ^ Talbot 57.
  21. ^ Schieffer 272-73.
  22. ^ "St. Boniface Parish, Lafayette, IN, USA".
  23. ^ "Devon Myths and Legends."
  24. ^ Melmoth, Jenny and Val Hayward (1999). St. Boniface and the Little Fir Tree: A Story to Color. Warrington: Alfresco Books. ISBN 1-873727-15-1.
  25. ^ Papa, Carrie (2008). The Brightest Star of All: Christmas Stories for the Family. Abingdon Press. ISBN 978-0-687-64813-9.
  26. ^ Harvey, May Louise (1912). The American normal readers: fifth book: "How Saint Boniface Kept Christmas Eve." 207-22. Silver, Burdett and Co.
  27. ^ Dyke, Henry van. "The First Christmas Tree". Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  28. ^ This is not the Willibald who was appointed by Boniface as Bishop of Eichstatt: "The writer of the Life was a simple priest who had never come into direct contact with Boniface and what he says is based upon the facts that he was able to collect from those who had been Boniface's disciples." Talbot 24.
  29. ^ Levison xvii-xxvi.
  30. ^ Levison xxxviii.
  31. ^ Levison xlvii.
  32. ^ Levison lvi-lviii.
  33. ^ Haarländer.
  34. ^ Noble xxxiv-xxxv.
  35. ^ Noble xxxiv-xxxv.
  36. ^ Epistolae s. Bonifacii martyris, primi moguntini archiepiscopi, published in 1605 in Mainz and republished in 1625, and again in 1639, Paris.
  37. ^ Noble xxxiv-xxxv.
  38. ^ Gneuss 130, item 849.
  39. ^ Lapidge 38.
  40. ^ Nichtweiß 283-88.
  41. ^ Pralle 59.
  42. ^ Grave 134.
  43. ^ Aaij.
  44. ^ Hartl.
  45. ^ Henk Alkema (music) and Peter te Nuyl (libretto). Bonifacius. Leewarden, 2004.
  46. ^ Ed. Cuno Raabe et al., Fulda: Parzeller, 1954.
  47. ^ Eds. Michael Imhof and Gregor Stasch, Petersberg: Michael Imhof, 2004.
  48. ^ Lehmann 193: "In dem auch heute noch als Standardwerk anerkannten Buch Winfrid-Bonifatius und die christlichen Grundlegung Europas von Theodor Schieffer..."


  • Aaij, Michel (June 2005). "Continental Business: Boniface biographies". The Heroic Age 8. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  • Cantor, Norman F. (1994). The civilization of the Middle Ages: a completely revised and expanded edition of Medieval history, the life and death of a civilization. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-092553-6.
  • "Devon Myths and Legends". BBC. 18 December 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  • Ficker, Gerhard (1905). Bonifatius, der "Apostel der Deutschen": Ein Gedenkblatt zum Jubiläumsjahr 1905. Leipzig: Evangelischen Bundes.
  • Van der Goot, Annelies (2005). De moord op Bonifatius: Het spoor terug. Amsterdam: Rubinstein. ISBN 90-5444-877-6.
  • Gneuss, Helmut (2001). Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: A List of Manuscripts and Manuscript Fragments Written or Owned in England up to 1100. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 241. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
  • Grave, Werner (1980). "Gemeinsam Zeugnis geben": Johannes Paul II. in Deutschland. Butzon & Bercker. p. 134. ISBN 3-7666-9144-9.
  • Haarländer, Stephanie (2007). "Welcher Bonifatius soll es sein? Bemerkungen zu den Vitae Bonifatii". In Franz J. Felten, Jörg Jarnut, Lutz von Padberg. Bonifatius--Leben und Nachwirken. Selbstverlag der Gesellschaft für mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte. pp. 353–61. ISBN 978-3-929135-56-5.
  • Hartl, Iris (26 March 2009). "Bestätigt: Bonifatius kommt wieder". Fuldaer Zeitung. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  • Lehmann, Karl (2007). "'Geht hinaus in alle Welt...': Zum historischen Erbe und zur Gegenwartsbedeutung des hl. Bonifatius". In Franz J. Felten, Jörg Jarnut, Lutz E. von Padberg. Bonifatius: Leben und Nachwirken. Gesellschaft für mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte. pp. 193–210. ISBN 978-3-929135-56-5.
  • Levison, Wilhelm (1905). Vitae Sancti Bonifati Archiepiscopi Moguntini. Hahn. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  • Mostert, Marco. 754: Bonifatius bij Dokkum Vermoord. Hilversum: Verloren, 1999.
  • Nichtweiß, Barbara (2005). "Zur Bonifatius-Verehrung in Mainz im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert". In Barbara Nichtweiß. Bonifatius in Mainz: Neues Jahrbuch für das Bistum Mainz, Beiträge zur Zeit- und Kulturgeschichte der Diozöse Jg. 2005. Mainz: Philipp von Zabern. pp. 277–92. ISBN 3-934450-18-0.
  • Noble, Thomas F.X.; Ephraim Emerton (2000). The Letters of Saint Boniface. Columbia UP. ISBN 978-0-231-12093-7. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  • Orme, Nicholas (1980). "The Church in Crediton from Saint Boniface to the Reformation". In Timothy Reuter. The Greatest Englishman: Essays on Boniface and the Church at Crediton. Paternoster. pp. 97–131. ISBN 978-0-85364-277-0.
  • Padberg, Lutz E. von (2003). Bonifatius: Missionar und Reformer. Beck. ISBN 978-3-406-48019-5.
  • Richter, Gregor; Carl Scherer (1905). Festgabe zum Bonifatius-Jubiläum 1905. Fulda: Actiendruckerei.
  • "St. Boniface", entry from online version of the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913 edition.
  • Pralle, Ludwig (1954). Gaude Fulda! Das Bonifatiusjahr 1954. Parzeller.
  • Rau, Reinhold (1968). Briefe des Bonifatius; Willibalds Leben des Bonifatius. Ausgewählte quellen zur deutschen Geschichte des Mittelalters IVb. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.
  • Schieffer, Theodor (1954, 1972). Winfrid-Bonifatius und die christliche Grundlegung Europas. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. ISBN 3-534-06065-2.
  • Talbot, C. H., ed. The Anglo-Saxon Missionaries in Germany: Being the Lives of S.S. Willibrord, Boniface, Strum, Leoba and Lebuin, together with the Hodoeporicon of St. Willibald and a Selection from the Correspondence of St. Boniface. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1954.
    • The Bonifacian vita was republished in Noble, Thomas F. X. and Thomas Head, eds. Soldiers of Christ: Saints and Saints’ Lives in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 1995. 109-40.
  • Tangl, Michael (1903). "Zum Todesjahr des hl. Bonifatius". Zeitschrift des Vereins für Hessische Geschichte und Landeskunde 37: 223–50.
  • Wolf, Gunther G. (1999). "Die Peripetie in des Bonifatius Wirksamkeit und die Resignation Karlmanns d.Ä.". Archiv für Diplomatik 45: 1–5.
  • Yorke, Barbara (2007). "The Insular Background to Boniface's Continental Career". In Franz J. Felten, Jörg Jarnut, Lutz von Padberg. Bonifatius--Leben und Nachwirken. Selbstverlag der Gesellschaft für mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte. pp. 23–37. ISBN 978-3-929135-56-5.

    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


    Today's Snippet I:  Fulda Cathedral, Germany

    Fulda Cathedral (German: Fuldaer Dom, also Sankt Salvator) is the former abbey church of Fulda Abbey and the burial place of Saint Boniface. Since 1752 it has also been the cathedral of the Diocese of Fulda, of which the Prince-Abbots of Fulda were created bishops. The abbey was dissolved in 1802 but the diocese and its cathedral have continued. The dedication is to Christ the Saviour (Latin: Salvator). The cathedral constitutes the high point of the Baroque district of Fulda, and is a symbol of the town.

    The present cathedral stands on the site of the Ratgar Basilica (once the largest basilica north of the Alps), which was the burial site of Saint Boniface and the church of Fulda Abbey, functions which the new building was intended to continue.

    The plans of the new church were drawn up in 1700 by one of the greatest German Baroque architects, Johann Dientzenhofer, who was commissioned by the Prince-Abbot Adalbert von Schleifras for the new building on the recommendation of the Pope after Dientzenhofer's study trip to Rome in 1699. The deliberate similarity of the church's internal arrangement to that of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is testimony to Dientzenhofer's visit.

    The Ratgar Basilica was demolished to make way for the new Baroque structure, on which construction began on 23 April 1704 using in part the foundations of the earlier basilica. In 1707 the shell was completed. The roof was finished in 1708 and the interior in 1712. The new abbey church was dedicated on 15 August 1712. The dedication tablet placed on the facade by von Schleifras gives the dedication as Christus Salvator.

    The new Baroque building, like its predecessor, served as the abbey church and the burial shrine of Saint Boniface. In 1752 it was elevated to a cathedral on the creation of the Diocese of Fulda. In 1802 Fulda Abbey was dissolved and the cathedral's function as the abbey church ceased, but it continued in operation as the seat of the Bishops of Fulda.

    On 4 June 1905 during celebrations of the 1150th anniversary of the death of Saint Boniface a stray firework lodged in the righthand tower and started a fire (it is presumed to have set light to old jackdaws' nests). The tower was burnt out, and the bells Osanna and Bonifatius were destroyed. Other parts of the cathedral were not damaged.

    After damage caused by air raids during World War II the cathedral was closed for restoration until 1954.
    Pope John Paul II visited Fulda on 17 and 18 November 1980. More than 100,000 people were present on the cathedral square on 18 November to attend the open-air mass celebrated by the Pope.



    Like the Ratgar Basilica before it, and St. Peter's in Rome, but unlike the great majority of European churches, Fulda Cathedral is oriented to the west.

    The main facade onto the cathedral square is the east front, and the choir is located at the west end of the nave. (The Ratgar Basilica had a second choir to the east, which Dientzenhofer did not replicate in his new building).

    The cathedral is 99 meters long and 39 meters high into the top of the dome. The main frontage is flanked by two towers 65 meters high.

    Form and ground plan

    The building is a basilica, with a central aisle and two side aisles, and two transepts separated by the crossing, over which is the dome. The ground plan is thus a cross with double arms. The nave is extended to the east by the addition of an entrance hall, the two facade towers and two domed chapels (St. Andrew's Chapel and St. John's Chapel). Beyond the crossing and the northern transept the chancel continues, with the high altar and beyond it the choir, with the crypt of Saint Boniface beneath. The side aisles run parallel to the main aisle up to the sacristy and the Lady Chapel, which is directly adjacent to the former monastic buildings.


    Main portal

    Bell towers

    The facade is flanked by two towers 65 metres high, the four storeys of which are clearly delineated by ledges. Sandstone statues, greater than life size, by Andreas Balthasar Weber, represent to the right Saint Sturm as abbot, with a mitre, abbot's staff and book, and to the left Saint Boniface as bishop with a crook and a Bible pierced by a dagger. On the third storey are copper and gilt numerals and hands belonging to a mechanical clock and a sundial.

    Main portal

    Four massive three-quarter columns accompanied by half-pilasters stand to either side of the main portal and support the architrave, the frieze with its triglyphs and the heavy cornices. On the architrave over segments of a round arch sit two large angels, supporting the arms of the Prince-Abbot Adalbert von Schleifras, sculpted by Balthasar Esterbauer, consisting of the arms of Fulda Abbey quartering those of von Schleifras.

    The portal door is ornamented with Corinthian pilasters and wrought iron door fittings.
    The upper storey of the facade is divided by massive pillars. A large round-topped window is decorated with columns, inflexed arches and urns. The window is surrounded by sandstone sculptures representing the patron saints of Fulda, the twin brothers Simplicius and Faustinus, as knights. Their shields bear their symbol - three lilies - and the cross, the device of the abbey, both of which appear in the arms of the town of Fulda.

    The central part of the facade is terminated by a triangular gable filled with urns and a round window. On the point of the gable stands a figure of Christ giving a blessing.


    Next to the two domed chapels stand a pair of sandstone obelisks about 11 metres high, the function of which, besides being decorative, is to make the facade appear broader. On the Abschlussplatte is a pedestal with four rampant lions, and above them the arms of von Schleifras with various inscriptions.


    View towards the high altar
    The white interior combines elements of St. Peter's Basilica and St. John Lateran in Rome. The magnificent decoration shows the influence of Roman Baroque. The overall effect is dominated by the contrast between the white of the walls and of the stucco on the one hand and the black and gold of the architectonic elements and of the fittings on the other. Giovanni Battista Artari, a stuccoist, decorative artist and sculptor, created the stucco work of the interior as well as the larger than life-size stucco figures of the Apostles, who are represented in accordance with their description by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 2.9 as "pillars" of the church.


    View of the dome
    Dientzenhofer was inspired in the design of the dome by that of the Church of Il Gesù in Rome, the mother church of the Jesuit Order, and like that of Il Gesù, the dome of Fulda Cathedral is intended to be the visual focal point of the building.

    In the spandrels above the pillars of the dome are well-preserved frescoes by Luca Antonio Columba, depicting the four Evangelists.

     In the niches are stucco figures greater than life-size by Giovanni Battista Artari: directly in front of the high altar stands the Archangel Michael holding scales and a sword, with the devil at his feet; to the left, the Archangel Gabriel holding a lily; to the right the Archangel Raphael holding a censer; and at the back a guardian angel, showing a child the way to heaven.

    Finally in the dome itself is a stucco figure of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove in a burst of radiance.

    Fittings and furnishings

    The Golden Wheel

    A great curiosity in both the old Ratgar Basilica and the later Baroque church and cathedral was the so-called "Golden Wheel" (German: das Goldene Rad), a medieval musical apparatus, which was made in 1415 during the rule of the Abbot Johann I von Merlau and for over 370 years delighted the faithful with its evocation of the "music of the spheres". It was in the form of a great star, consisting of 14 rays about 2.5 metres long mounted on a round metal plate; from the rays hung 350 bells. It was set and kept in motion by two ropes or cables running round an axle, by which the star could be kept turning and the bells ringing. It was lavishly decorated with glittering golden Gothic floral finials and vesica-shaped decorations. [6]

    By the time it was reinstalled in the new Baroque church in 1712 there were only 127 bells remaining.

    It was hung in the nave to the east of the dome. In 1781 a cable broke during the Whitsun service and the heavy wheel crashed to the ground causing deaths and injuries. It was left in a barn for two years, and before a decision could be reached about whether it should be re-hung, all the bells had disappeared. The bishop's smith then broke it up and reused the metal.

    High altar

    The sculptor Johann Neudecker and the stuccoist Giovanni Battista Artari worked together to make the high altar, which on 15 August 1712 Prince-Abbot Adalbert von Schleifras dedicated in honour of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary[1], as she is received by the Holy Trinity.


    The cathedral has ten bells hung in the two towers: bells 1–3 in the north tower, and bells 4–10 in the south tower. The Salvator is the only bell now surviving of the set cast in 1897 by Carl & Rudolf Edelbrock. In 1908 Carl Edelbrock added an Osanna.

    The Osanna which now hangs in the top storey of the north tower is a different bell, cast by Friedrich Wilhelm Schilling. It is supposed to be one of the best bells he ever cast: the story is that it did not need to be tuned after casting. The present Sturmius and Lioba bells were recast from bells of 1897 which were not in tune with the 1908 Osanna. In 1994 the Karlsruher Glocken- und Kunstgießerei cast five bells to replace another five smaller bells from the set of 1897.


    Between 1708 and 1713 an organ was built in the new church by the Franciscan Adam Öhninger, with 41 registers on three keyboards and pedals.[7] Andreas Balthasar Weber and the artist-woodworker Georg Blank undertook the carvings on the organ case. In a comprehensive restoration of the cathedral between 1992 and 1996 the case was restored and the old colours that were discovered were replaced as close as possible in the original.

    The Rieger Orgelbau company completed in 1996 the new organ works, using some of the pipes from the old Sauer organ. The present organ comprises 5 divisions on 4 manuals and the pedals with 72 registers.


    The tomb of Saint Boniface
    The Boniface Chapel in the crypt is a survival from the Ratgar Basilica and houses the remains of Saint Boniface, the "Apostle of the Germans", in a sarcophagus, which also has a relief carving and an antependium by Johann Neudecker.

    During his visit to Fulda in 1980, Pope John Paul II prayed at the tomb of Saint Boniface and in his sermon emphasized Boniface's importance as the beginning of the gospel in Germany.[8]

    To the north of the cathedral is the former St. Michael's Priory, since 1831 the bishop's residence, and the Carolingian St. Michael's Church. Directly attached to the cathedral to the west are the Baroque former conventual buildings of the abbey, constructed between 1771 and 1778, now the Theological Department of the University of Fulda. Nearby is the modern chapel of the Roman Catholic seminary, which was built 1966-1968 by the architect Sep Ruf. South of the monastery is the deanery and the dean's garden, where a lapidarium is now located. In part of the deanery buildings is the cathedral museum.

    Cathedral museum

    The adjoining cathedral museum contains numerous liturgical vestments and vessels, including the "Silver Altar", dating from the 18th century, which includes a reliquary for the head of Saint Boniface and the dagger with which he was murdered, besides others of his relics.

    Cathedral square

    On the cathedral square directly in front of the main entrance large open-air concerts regularly take place, sometimes featuring international stars (e.g., Jose Carreras, Chris de Burgh).


    1. ^ Diözese Fulda – St. Salvator in Fulda
    2. ^ also known popularly as the Hoher Dom zu Fulda
    3. ^ L. Pfaff: Der Dom zu Fulda., publ. J. L. Ath, 1855, p.19
    4. ^ Freunde Mainfränkischer Kunst und Geschichte: Mainfränkisches Jahrbuch für Geschichte und Kunst. Unterfranken 1949, Seite 280
    5. ^ hr-online: Glockengeläut – Beten für das Kirchenoberhaupt – Stand: 2. April 2005
    6. ^ German: Kreuzblumen and Fischblasenornamente
    7. ^ Bistum Fulda © – Die große Orgel
    8. ^ Bildungsserver Hessen: Jahres- und Gedenktage im November, Stand: 20. Mai 2005

    Today's Snippet II:  Frisia

    The Frisian Realm during its great expansion
    Frisia or Friesland [1] is a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea, i.e. the German Bight. Frisia is the traditional homeland of the Frisians, a Germanic people who speak Frisian, a language group closely related to the English language. Frisia extends from the northwestern Netherlands across northwestern Germany to the border of Denmark (Vidå).

    The three groups of the Frisian Islands (the West, East and North Frisian Islands) stretch more or less correspondingly along these three sections of the German Bight coast.

    West Frisia corresponds roughly to the Dutch province of Friesland (Fryslân), the northern part of North Holland province (the historical region of West Friesland, the westernmost portion of the traditional region of West Frisia), and also modern Groningen province, though the Western Frisian language is only spoken in Friesland proper. Dialects with strong Frisian substrates, including Low German and Low Franconian, are also spoken in West Frisia. In the northern province of Groningen, people speak Gronings, a Low Saxon dialect with a strong Frisian substrate. Until 1942 Vlieland belonged to North Holland, then the Germans changed it to Friesland.[2]

    East Frisia includes areas located in the northwest of the German state of Lower Saxony, including the districts of Aurich, Leer, Wittmund and Friesland, as well as the urban districts of Emden and Wilhelmshaven, the Saterland, the Land Wursten and former Rüstringen (Butjadingen). East Frisia is also the name of a historical county in that area. The German name "Ostfriesland" distinguishes the former county from "Ost-Friesland", which means the whole eastern Frisian area.

    The portions of North Frisia within the German state of Schleswig-Holstein are part of the district of Nordfriesland and stretch along the coast, including the coastal islands from the Eider River to the border of Denmark in the north. The North Sea island of Heligoland, while not part of Nordfriesland district, is also part of traditional North Frisia.


    Frisia has changed dramatically over time, both through floods and through a change in identity. It is part of the Nordwestblock which is a hypothetical historic region linked by language and culture.

    Roman times

    The Frisii began settling in Frisia around 500 BC. According to Pliny the Elder, in Roman times, the Frisians (or their close neighbours, the Chauci) lived on terps, man-made hills.[3] According to other sources, the Frisians lived along a broader expanse of the North Sea (or "Frisian Sea") coast.[4] Frisia at this time comprised the present provinces of Friesland and North Holland.

    Kingdom of Frisia

    In the 7th and 8th centuries, Frankish chronologies mention the northern Low Countries as the kingdom of the Frisians. However, these were probably not the Frisians of Roman times. This kingdom comprised the coastal seelande provinces of the Netherlands, from the Scheldt to the Weser and the German North Sea coast and further east. During this time, the Frisian language was spoken along the entire southern North Sea coast and, today, this region is sometimes referred to as Greater Frisia or Frisia Magna.

    Distant authors seem to have made little distinction between Frisian and Saxon. The Byzantine Procopius described three peoples living in Britain: Angles, Frisians and Britons,[5] and the Danish author of Knútsdrápa celebrating the 11th-century Canute the Great used 'Frisians' as a synonym of 'English'.[6] To account for East Anglia's distinct land-holdings in carucates forming vills assembled in leets, partible inheritance patterns of lands held in common among kin, resistance to manorialization and other social institutions, a case has been made for Frisian cultural domination there from the fifth century.[7] East Anglian sources called the inhabitants of 'Frisia' Warnii instead of Frisians.

    The earliest Frisian records name four social classes, the ethelings (nobiles in Latin documents) and frilings, who together made up the "Free Frisians" who might bring suit at court, and the laten or liten with the slaves, who were absorbed into the laten during the Early Middle Ages, as slavery was not so much formally abolished, as evaporated.[8] The laten were tenants of lands they did not own and might be tied to it in the manner of serfs, but in later times might buy their freedom.[9]

    The basic land-holding unit, for assessment of taxes and military contributions, was the ploegg (cf. "plow") or teen (cf. "hundred"), though it passed under other local names. The teen was pledged to supply ten men for the heer, or army. Ploegg or teen formed a unit who were collectively responsible for the performance of any of the men. The ploegg or East Frisian rott was a compact holding that originated with a single lineage or kinship, whose men in early times went to war under their chief, and devolved in medieval times into a union of neighbors rather than kith and kin. Several, often three, ploeggs were grouped into a burar, whose members controlled and adjudicated the uses of pasturage (but not tillage) which the ploeggs held in common, and came to be in charge of roads, ditches and dikes. Twelve ploeggs made up a "long" hundred,[10] responsible for supplying a hundred armed men, four of which made a go (cf. Gau).

    The 7th-century Frisian realm (650-734) under the kings Aldegisel and Redbad, had its centre of power in the city of Utrecht. Its ancient customary law was drawn up as the Lex Frisionum in the eighth century. Its end came in 734 at the Battle of the Boarn, when the Frisians were defeated by the Franks, who then conquered the western part up to the Lauwers. They conquered the area east of the Lauwers in 785, when Charlemagne defeated Widukind. The Carolingians laid Frisia under the rule of grewan, a title that has been loosely related to count in its early sense of "governor" rather than "feudal overlord".[11]

    This Frisia Magna was partly occupied by Vikings in the 840s, until they were expelled between 885 and 920. It has also been suggested that the Vikings did not conquer Frisia, but settled in certain parts (such as the island of Wieringen), where they built simple forts and cooperated and traded with the native Frisians. One of their leaders was Rorik of Dorestad.

    Loss of territory

    Frisians made polders in West Friesland, which became more and more separated from Friesland due to floods. After a few centuries of increasingly divergent history, some part of Frisia became the county of Holland in 1101, Frisia began to identify itself as a country with free folk in the Middle Ages. Frisia no longer belonged to the bishopric of Utrecht. There were many floods in the 11th and 12th centuries, which led to the deaths of many and eventually formed the Zuider Zee. The largest flood occurred in 1322.

    Opstalboom League

    The free Frisians (actually petty noblemen) and the city of Groningen founded the Opstalboom League to counter feudalism. The league consisted of modern Friesland, Groningen, East Frisia and the German North Sea coast, and parts of the Danish North Sea coast (Schleswig). But the Opstalboom league did not consist only of Frisians, as the area of Zevenwouden and the city of Groningen were Saxon. Some Frisians lived under the rule of the counts of Holland in West Friesland. The Opstalboom League was short-lived; it collapsed after a few years because of continual internal strife.

    15th century

    Statue of Pier Gerlofs Donia, known for his legendary strength and size
    The 15th century saw the end of the free Frisians. The city of Groningen started to dominate the province of Groningen. A petty nobleman in East Frisia managed to defeat the other petty noblemen and became count of East Frisia. The Archbishop of Bremen-Hamburg and the king of Denmark conquered large areas of Frisia. Only Friesland remained for the Frisian Freedom. Friesland was conquered in the 1490s by Duke Albert of Saxony-Meissen.

    Later, the giant Pier Gerlofs Donia (Grutte Pier) would fight for his country's freedom. He had many successes and was feared by the Dutch till he died as a farmer in 1520. A statue dedicated to him was installed in Kimswert. He is estimated to have been seven feet tall.

    During later 16th Century the Frisans joined the revolt with William of Orange against the Spanish to become part of The Netherlands. Herewith the Frisian fight for independence ended till today.

    Frisian territories

    • West Friesland remained a part of Holland and became a part of North Holland when the province was split in 1840. The current region of West Friesland is smaller than historical West Friesland and there is also an official constitutional region (samenwerkingsregio) of West Friesland for coast protection, the police, and agriculture.
    • Friesland got its independence back (with constitutionalized farmer representation) in 1581 and gave it up again in 1795. It is now a Dutch province.
    • East Frisia became a part of the Kingdom of Prussia and was formerly a district of the federal state of Lower Saxony in the Federal Republic of Germany.
    • Groningen has been a province of the Netherlands since the 16th century.
    • North Frisia was a part of the Danish duchy of Schleswig (also: Southern Jutland) and belongs now to the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. North Frisia was at no time part of the Holy Roman Empire.
    • The Frisian islands off the coast of the Netherlands and Germany are the leftover dunes of flooded lands.


    Frisian Flag
    Inter-Frisian Flag
    Although the Frisian regions have their own separate flags, Frisia has not historically had a flag of its own. The flag for united Frisia, known as the Inter-Frisian Flag (Ynterfryske Flagge), was launched in September 2006 by the Groep fan Auwerk, which supports a united Frisia as a recognised country.

    The Groep fan Auwerk is an organisation that struggles for an independent Greater Frisia. The land that covers the Greater Frisia region, according the Groep fan Auwerk , comprises four parts as expressed in the Pan-Frisian flag.

    The flag is inspired by the Nordic Cross Flag. The four pompeblêden (water lily leaves) are derived from the seven pompeblêden on the (West) Friesland flag, but the number represents the three separate Frisian regions plus Groningen (Eastlauwersk Fryslân). The flag was not accepted by the Inter-Frisian Council.[12] 

    The Nordic Cross Flag, is a term for flags usually associated with the flags of the Scandinavian countries of which it originated and where the image on the flag is the so-called Scandinavian cross. All of the Nordic countries have adopted such flags. All Scandinavian flags may be flown as gonfalons as well.


    In November 2009, a Frisian edition of the national Bosatlas, De Bosatlas van Fryslân was published by the Dutch publisher Noordhoff in Groningen, almost 500 pages and 4 kg. This Bosatlas van Fryslân is completely dedicated to the Dutch province of Friesland, with historical and modern maps, aerophotography and background information on hundreds of topics. It also contains a complete set of topographical maps, in the most detailed scale (1:25 000).[13][14]


    1. ^
    2. ^
    3. ^ Haider Munske, Horst; Nils Århammar (2001). Handbuch des Friesischen: Handbook of Frisian Studies (Digitized online by goole books) (in German). Walter de Gruyter. p. 480. ISBN 3-484-73048-X, 9783484730489 Check |isbn= value (help). Retrieved 2009-01-11.
    4. ^ A more extensive review of Frisia in Roman times is in Lawrence A. Springer, "Rome's Contact with the Frisians" The Classical Journal 48.4 (January 1953), pp. 109-111.
    5. ^ Procopius, Wars 8.20.11-46.
    6. ^ M. Ashdown, English and Norse Documents Relating to the Reign of Ethelred the Unready (Cambridge) 1930, p. 138, noted by Homans 1957 (below) p189 note 3.
    7. ^ George C. Homans, "The Frisians in East Anglia" The Economic History Review, New Series, 10.2 (1957), pp. 189-206.
    8. ^ Homans 1957 pp. 198-206 describes Frisian social institutions, based on the summary by B.E. Siebs, Grundlagen und Aufbau der altfriesischen Verfassung, in Untersuchungen zur Deutschen Staats- und Rechtsgeschichte CLXIV (Breslau) 1933; Siebs' synthesis was extrapolated from survivals detected in later medieval documents.
    9. ^ Homans 1957, p. 202.
    10. ^ This is part of the evidence for a duodenary system, counting by multiples of twelve Homan 1957, p. 204 and passim.
    11. ^ Homan 1957, p. 205.
    12. ^ Press release from the Interfrisian Council
    13. ^ De Friese Bosatlas
    14. ^, "Friese Bosatlas niet aan te slepen"

     Additional Reading

    • Albert Bantelmann, Rolf Kuschert, Albert Panten, Thomas Steensen: Geschichte Nordfrieslands. 2., durchges. u. aktualisierte Aufl., Westholst. Verlagsanstalt Boyens, Heide in Holstein 1996 (= Nordfriisk Instituut, Nr. 136), ISBN 3-8042-0759-6.
    • Thomas Steensen: Geschichte Nordfrieslands von 1918 bis in die Gegenwart. Neuausg., Nordfriisk Instituut, Bräist/Bredstedt 2006 (= Geschichte Nordfrieslands, Teil 5; Nordfriisk Instituut, Nr. 190), ISBN 3-88007-336-8.
    • Stefan Kröger - Das Ostfriesland-Lexikon. Ein unterhaltsames Nachschlagewerk, Isensee Verlag, Oldenburg 2006
    • Ostfriesland im Schutze des Deiches. Beiträge zur Kultur- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte des ostfriesischen Küstenlandes, hrsg. im Auftrag der Niederemsischen Deichacht, 12 Bände, Selbstverlag, Pewsum u. a. 1969
    • Onno Klopp -, Geschichte Ostfrieslands, 3 Bde., Hannover 1854–1858
    • Hajo van Lengen - Ostfriesland, Kultur und Landschaft, Ruhrspiegel-Verlag, Essen 1978
    • Hajo van Lengen (Hrsg.) - Die Friesische Freiheit des Mittelalters – Leben und Legende, Verlag Ostfriesische Landschaft 2003, ISBN 3-932206-30-4
    • Franz Kurowski - Das Volk am Meer – Die dramatische Geschichte der Friesen, Türmer-Verlag 1984, ISBN 3-87829-082-9
    • Karl Cramer - Die Geschichte Ostfrieslands. Ein Überblick, Isensee - Oldenburg
    • Hermann Homann - Ostfriesland – Inseln, Watt und Küstenland, F. Coppenrath Verlag, Münster
    • Manfred Scheuch - Historischer Atlas Deutschland, ISBN 3-8289-0358-4
    • Karl-Ernst Behre / Hajo van Lengen - Ostfriesland. Geschichte und Gestalt einer Kulturlandschaft, Aurich 1995, ISBN 3-925365-85-0
    • Tielke, Martin (ed.) - Biographisches Lexikon für Ostfriesland, Ostfries. Landschaftliche Verlag- u. Vertriebsges. Aurich, vol. 1 ISBN 3-925365-75-3 (1993), vol. 2 ISBN 3-932206-00-2 (1997), vol. 3 ISBN 3-932206-22-3 (2001)


     Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part Two: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery, 

    Section Two: The Seven Sacraments of the Church 





    Article 2
    1680 All the sacraments, and principally those of Christian initiation, have as their goal the last Passover of the child of God which, through death, leads him into the life of the Kingdom. Then what he confessed in faith and hope will be fulfilled: "I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come."Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed

    II. The Celebration of Funerals
    1684 The Christian funeral confers on the deceased neither a sacrament nor a sacramental since he has "passed" beyond the sacramental economy. It is nonetheless a liturgical celebration of the Church.SC 81-82 The ministry of the Church aims at expressing efficacious communion with the deceased, at the participation in that communion of the community gathered for the funeral and at the proclamation of eternal life to the community.

    1685 The different funeral rites express the Paschal character of Christian death and are in keeping with the situations and traditions of each region, even as to the color of the liturgical vestments worn.SC 81

    1686 The Order of Christian Funerals (Ordo exsequiarum) of the Roman liturgy gives three types of funeral celebrations, corresponding to the three places in which they are conducted (the home, the church, and the cemetery), and according to the importance attached to them by the family, local customs, the culture, and popular piety. This order of celebration is common to all the liturgical traditions and comprises four principal elements:

    1687 The greeting of the community. A greeting of faith begins the celebration. Relatives and friends of the deceased are welcomed with a word of "consolation" (in the New Testament sense of the Holy Spirit's power in hope).1 Thess 4:18 The community assembling in prayer also awaits the "words of eternal life." the death of a member of the community (or the anniversary of a death, or the seventh or fortieth day after death) is an event that should lead beyond the perspectives of "this world" and should draw the faithful into the true perspective of faith in the risen Christ.

    1688 The liturgy of the Word during funerals demands very careful preparation because the assembly present for the funeral may include some faithful who rarely attend the liturgy, and friends of the deceased who are not Christians. the homily in particular must "avoid the literary genre of funeral eulogy"OCF 41 and illumine the mystery of Christian death in the light of the risen Christ.

    1689 The Eucharistic Sacrifice. When the celebration takes place in church the Eucharist is the heart of the Paschal reality of Christian death.OCF 41 In the Eucharist, the Church expresses her efficacious communion with the departed: offering to the Father in the Holy Spirit the sacrifice of the death and resurrection of Christ, she asks to purify his child of his sins and their consequences, and to admit him to the Paschal fullness of the table of the Kingdom.OCF 57 It is by the Eucharist thus celebrated that the community of the faithful, especially the family of the deceased, learn to live in communion with the one who "has fallen asleep in the Lord," by communicating in the Body of Christ of which he is a living member and, then, by praying for him and with him.

    1690 A farewell to the deceased is his final "commendation to God" by the Church. It is "the last farewell by which the Christian community greets one of its members before his body is brought to its tomb."OCF 10 The Byzantine tradition expresses this by the kiss of farewell to the deceased:

    By this final greeting "we sing for his departure from this life and separation from us, but also because there is a communion and a reunion. For even dead, we are not at all separated from one another, because we all run the same course and we will find one another again in the same place. We shall never be separated, for we live for Christ, and now we are united with Christ as we go toward him . . . we shall all be together in Christ."St. Simeon of Thessalonica, De ordine sepulturae. 336: PG 155, 684