This paper aims to present the missionary and reform activities of Boniface, the most important AngloSaxon missionary in Western Europe. AngloSaxon missionaries greatly contributed to the process of Christianization of Germanic tribes. Being the most important AngloSaxon religious representative, Boniface did more than merely perform missionary work. He received from the Pope the task of reforming the Church in Germany (eliminating the growing divergence between the clergy and the people) and returning the Frankish Church to Rome’s sphere of influence. The task received from Rome Boniface managed to accomplish only in part due to the bitter resistance of the Frankish clergy who did not tolerate him because he preached in their domain and wanted to subjugate them to Rome.
Boniface had a fair relationship with Charles Martel, but not as close one as Willibrord. Charles Martel helped him when he preached in areas that were not in the sphere of influence of the Frankish bishops. However, when Boniface received a pallium from the pope, he did not get a chair, nor was that potential chair elevated to the rank of archbishop because of the resistance of the Frankish bishop who did not want Boniface to infringe on their independence from Rome. Boniface became the titular archbishop and papal legate, but without a diocese to govern, in the part of the state he ruled. The agreement between Carloman and his brother Pepin enabled him to get a chair in Cologne, where he could not be enthroned, but was later appointed to Mainz. The withdrawal of Carloman to the monastery of Monte Cassino weakened Boniface’s position in Francia. As a result, he had to implore the abbot of the monastery of SaintDenis, Fulrad, to influence Pepin that Lull, whom Boniface appointed as his heir, could succeed him to the chair of the bishop of Mainz. Boniface’s successors maintained contacts with the Frankish rulers, using their logistic assistance in the baptism of pagans. The importance of Boniface as a prominent member of the Frankish Church was recognized after his martyrdom, and he became the first saint of the Carolingian period.