The apostle of Germany, St. Boniface (c. 679-755), was an Englishman of strong, serene character who entered the Benedictine Order at an early age. When he was 40, Boniface led a little band of English missioners to the Continent. During his mighty apostolic work of the following 35 years, he was undeviating in his obedience to the directives of the Holy See. He had the gift of inspiring others with the fire of his apostolic zeal, so that many English monks and nuns came eagerly to his aid. In addition to Christianizing and civilizing a great part of Germany and Holland, he regenerated the Church in neighboring Frankland, at the request of the Pope. At the age of 75, Archbishop Boniface converted and baptized thousands of pagans in Holland. There, on June 5, 755, he and his companions were attacked by a band of fanatical idolaters and brutally martyred.
INTROIT Isa. 65:19, 23
I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be happy in my people, and the voice of weeping shall no more be heard in the city, nor the voice of crying. My chosen ones shall not labor in vain nor bring forth in distress, for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their posterity with them.
Ps. 43:2. God, our ears have heard, our fathers have spoken to us of the deeds you performed in their days.
V. Glory be . . .
O God, by the zeal of Your holy martyr, Bishop Boniface, You have brought many nations to know and bow to Your holy name. May we, in honoring his feast, know the benefits of his powerful intercession with You. Through our Lord . . .
READING Eccli. 44:1-15 [Sirach]
Let us now praise men of renown and our fathers in their generation. The Lord hath wrought great glory through his magnificence from the beginning. Such as have borne rule in their dominions, men of great power, and endued with their wisdom, shewing forth in the prophets the dignity of prophets, And ruling over the present people, and by the strength of wisdom instructing the people in most holy words. Such as by their skill sought out musical tunes, and published canticles of the scriptures. Rich men in virtue, studying beautifulness: living at peace in their houses. All these have gained glory in their generations, and were praised in their days. They that were born of them have left a name behind them, that their praises might be related:
And there are some, of whom there is no memorial: who are perished, as if they had never been: and are become as if they had never been born, and their children with them. But these were men of mercy, whose godly deeds have not failed: Good things continue with their seed, Their posterity are a holy inheritance, and their seed hath stood in the covenants. And their children for their sakes remain for ever: their seed and their glory shall not be forsaken. Their bodies are buried in peace, and their name liveth unto generation and generation. Let the people shew forth their wisdom, and the church declare their praise.
GRADUAL I Peter 4:13-14
Rejoice, in so far as you are partakers of the sufferings of Christ, that you may also rejoice with exultation in the revelation of His glory.
V. If you are upbraided for the name of Christ, blessed will you be, because the honor, the glory, and the power of God and His Spirit rest upon you.
Alleluia, alleluia! V. Isa. 66:12
I will bring upon him, as it were, a river of peace, and glory, as an overflowing torrent. Alleluia!
GOSPEL Matt. 5:1-12
At that time, Jesus seeing the multitudes, went up into a mountain, and when he was set down, his disciples came unto him. And opening his mouth he taught them, saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart: they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Ps. 15:7, 8
I bless the Lord, who has given me understanding. I set the Lord ever before me; with Him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Pour out Your rich blessings, O Lord, upon this Sacrifice, that through it we may come closer to our sanctification and be made joyful on the feast of Your holy martyr, Bishop Boniface. Through our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Apoc. 3:21
He who overcomes, I will permit him to sit with Me upon My throne; as I also have overcome and have sat with My Father on His throne.
We have been made holy by this life-giving Sacrifice, O Lord. May we always be aided by the prayers of Your holy martyr, Bishop Boniface, whom You gave us as a protector and a guide. Through our Lord . . .