Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (12: 1-12) in which Jesus shares the parable of wicked tenants, who beat and kill the Vineyard owner’s messengers. Afterwards, Fr Paul shares a little about the life of St Boniface whose memorial we celebrate today.

Fr Paul says Boniface was born in Devon in England and educated at the monastery at Exeter, and then joined the Benedictine abbey at Nursling, near Southampton. He was a teacher and preacher, but he desired to preach the Gospel in foreign lands. In 718, Pope Gregory II commissioned him to do just that.

Boniface left England, never to return, and took the Gospel to the heathen tribes of Germany, where he had great success. He himself was created Bishop of Mainz, and he founded or restored dioceses in Bavaria, Thuringia, and Franconia. In his later years he worked with King Pepin the Short to reform the Frankish church, and then, over seventy years old, set out to evangelize Friesland (part of modern Holland) where he was set upon and murdered, on 5 June 754.

He is buried at Fulda, near Frankfurt, in the monastery he founded himself, and is honoured as the apostle of Germany.

So today, Fr Paul invites us to pray ‘St Boniface…Pray for us!’.