Boniface as Patron Saint
The other day, I was praying about which Patron Saint I should adopt. Later on, the word 'Boniface' kept impressing itself on my awareness. As all I knew about St. Boniface was what I had read in 'Our Daily Life' (page 43), I felt that I should enquire further among the books my landlady has got, and in my local Reference Library.
Although one dictionary stated that Boniface meant 'an inn-keeper' (Chambers 20th Century), the Oxford Names Companion gave a lot of interesting details. The name was often respelled Bonifacius and assigned the meaning 'doer of good deeds', derived by folk etymology from the Latin 'facere'. Bonifatius was the name of the Roman military governor of North Africa in 422 to 432, who was a friend of St. Augustine, and it was also borne by various early Christian saints, notable St. Boniface (c.675-754) who was born in Devon and martyred in Friesland after evangelical work among German tribes. It was also adopted by nine Popes. The original sense 'well fated' remained transparent in Italian, so the name was often bestowed there as a good omen.
The 1993 edition of the 'Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church' lists St. Boniface (680-754) [the article also mentions a Roman martyr called Boniface], Pope Saint Boniface I (died 422), Pope Boniface VIII (c.1234-1303) and Boniface of Savoy (died 1270).
On reading through these, I noted that Pope St. Boniface I firmly condemned Pelagianism. On looking up and refreshing my memory about Pelagianism, I could think of no more appropriate choice for my own personal Patron Saint!
So in choosing BONIFACE as my Patron Saint, I am choosing all of these 'doers of good' at the same time! I shall try and learn a little (when I feel it is appropriate) to find out much more about all these Bonifaces, and hope that I too will be a doer of good in my own way, reflecting the goodness of Jesus in my life.
My question is: does this choice seem to be the work of the Holy Spirit, or am I just kidding myself?