Today in the Middle Ages: June 5, 709

St. Boniface and his missionary companions were killed by pagan Germans on June 5, 709.

Born in Devon, Boniface went to Frisia on the orders of the Pope to convert the "heathen" Germanic tribes. One of his icons as a saint is an axe, because he chopped down an ancient oak tree that was sacred to Thor and preached the Gospel from its stump.