Friday, June 5, 2009


Another saint I know more from obscure not-quite-contemporary pop-culture references than actual sainthood is Saint Boniface. You remember in Auntie Mame when Patrick is taken from her & enrolled in 'Old Saint Boney Face"? Well that was the Saint Boniface Academy & this my only personal Saint Boniface reference.

That Old Saint Boney Face would be the school of choice for bankers, bank trustees & well, more bankers (according to Patrick Dennis,) is very apropos because as far as I can tell Boniface is the man who brought religious bureaucracy to the Germanic tribes. That's right, its his fault.

Born somewhere in the British Isles (different regions take credit, or not), the biggest chunk of Boniface's career seems to have been conversion clean-up guy. After the initial missionary had gone to the world where-ever, converted a few with his own personal magnetism (never underestimate personal magnetism), Old Boney Face would follow with greater resources & really start packing them in. I had to laugh, I cannot help it; to me Boniface is the union-buster saint.

Boniface is the patron of brewers (he went native to a degree while among the Germanic tribes?) & file cutters (I am at a loss). He is most closely associated with his most famous visual aid: while in the hinterland, he blundered on a group of tree worshipers (not general tree worshipers, but an actual specific tree that they worshiped). Without a word, he cut down the tree as a demonstration that his g*d was bigger than that g*d. The crowd's response was mixed.

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