With a solemn pontifical mass the traditional Bonifatius pilgrimages were opened this weekend in Fulda. The Catholic Church venerates Boniface as a saint and martyr. He is considered the apostle of the Germans and the forerunner of the Occident.
Bishop Heinz Josef Algermissen was the main celebrant at Sunday's festive service on Cathedral Square, while Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst from Limburg was the celebratory preacher. The central mass celebration was again attended by several thousand faithful. All parishes of the Fulda city deanery traditionally went in a star pilgrimage to the cathedral church. In addition, there were numerous foot pilgrimages by parishes of the Fulda region to give their Christian witness to the world in veneration of the Apostle of the Germans and to pray for the Church of God at this time.Already on the eve of the Bonifatiusfest, the bells of all Fulda parish churches and all participating parishes rang at 8 p.m. to celebrate the diocese's feast day. "Pioneers of the Occident" Boniface is widely regarded as the "Apostle of the Germans" and a "pioneer of the Occident". He was born around 672/675 in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex in the southwest of England. As a birthplace since the 14. Century Crediton in the county Devonshire called. The Catholic Church reveres Boniface as a saint. His death and ecclesiastical feast day is the 5. June.On this day in the year 754 – before 1.250 years ago – Boniface was murdered by robbers during a missionary journey in Dokkum, Frisia. In accordance with his wishes, he was buried in Fulda. He had a Benedictine monastery founded there in 744. It is considered the nucleus of the city and diocese of Fulda. The tomb of Boniface is located in Fulda Cathedral. The Bonifatiusfest from Friday to Sunday in the East Hessian city was the highlight of the Catholic Church in Germany for the 1.250. Death anniversary of the saint celebrated Bonifatiusjahr 2004.In the year 719 Boniface, who was called Winfried (friend of the peace) by house, had in Rome of Pope Gregory II. The Congo was given the missionary assignment in Germania – and the ecclesiastical epithet Boniface (benefactor). It was this pope who ordained him a missionary bishop a few years later. The Gregorian II. following Pope Gregory III. (731-741) appointed Boniface archbishop and made him papal deputy and envoy in Germania. Boniface worked in parts of what are now Germany, the Netherlands, France and Austria. For example, he reorganized the bishoprics of Passau, Regensburg, and Salzburg, founded new bishoprics such as Eichstatt and Wurzburg, was himself bishop of Mainz, initiated numerous monastery foundations, and initiated several episcopal assemblies with the goal of reforming the sometimes dilapidated church in his missionary territory. These so-called Concilia Germanica took place between 743 and 747. In Geismar, Hesse, Boniface is said to have felled a Donar oak to demonstrate the powerlessness of the Germanic gods, of whom Donar was one of the most important.Historiography widely sees Boniface as a missionary, reformer, church organizer and martyr. When German Catholicism was founded in the 19th century. Seeking a new profile in the nineteenth century, Boniface became his national saint. In Protestantism, Boniface is not infrequently accused of being too closely tied to the papacy.