Miloš Mišković

Boniface’s Missionary and Reformist Activity in Western Europe

pages: 55-84


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.


27-36:929 Бонифације, свети


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