Saint Boniface was born Winfrid in the town of Crediton in England in 672. From a young age, he knew he wanted to spread the Word of God and started to prepare for his mission. In 716, he travelled to Friesland for the first time, but the political situation made it difficult to preach and he was forced to return.
In the years that followed, from Fulda in Germany, he laid the foundations of much of the German church. He was made archbishop of several dioceses but wanted to do more. Determined to convert the wayward Frisians, he once again set off on his mission.
In 754, he announced a gathering to perform christenings near the town of Dokkum. On the way there, he encountered people who had no interest in being converted. Boniface and the 52 attendants in his retinue were slain. There are conflicting accounts of what happened. Some say Boniface was attacked and murdered. Others say there was an open, armed confrontation and that the archbishop was not intentionally killed. In any case, it was here that Saint Boniface met his end.
The St Boniface Chapel in Dokkum was built in honour of Saint Boniface in 1934. In front of the chapel there is a spring. The water is said to have healing properties. It’s certainly worth a try!