May 5 is the memorial of St. Boniface of Mainz, also called St. Boniface of Devon. Once called "the greatest Englishman," he was an eighth century missionary who is credited with converting much of Germany to the Church, and with bringing Christians who had fallen away from the Church back into communion with Rome.
Previous posts on this blog about St. Boniface include a biographical post about St. Boniface, a discussion of the importance of his work to western Europe's emergence from the Dark Ages in a post about 410 to 741, a quote from one of his letters ("The Ship of Christ, His Dearest Spouse"), and a post titled Reflections on St. Boniface, Blindness and Our Lenten Fast.
To honor his feast day, here are excerpts from 3 letters in which he asked others to pray for him. There is similarity with what St. Teresa of Avila asked Carmelites to pray for priests in The Way of Perfection (discussed here: Prayer in a Time of Heresy). These are the things one of Church history's most honored missionaries asked others to pray for him about, which could be taken as examples of what we might ask for the priests and missionaries of our own time (from Ephraim Emerton's translation of the Letters of St. Boniface):
(A letter to Bishop Pehthelm of Shithorn in Scotland, written in 735)
"This German ocean is dangerous for sailors and we pray that we may reach the haven of eternal peace without stain or injury to our soul, and that while we are striving to offer the light of Gospel truth to the blind and ignorant who are unwilling to gaze upon it, we may not be wrapped in the darkness of our own sins, neither 'run or have run in vain,' but, upheld by your intercessions, may we go forward unspotted and enlightened into the splendor of eternity."
(A letter to Bishop Daniel of Winchester, written ca. 742-746)
"In all these matters we seek first your intercession with God that we may finish the course of our ministry without injury to our soul. We pray you from the depths of our heart to intercede for us, that God, the gracious comforter of his laborers, may keep our souls safe and free from sin in the midst of such tempestuous times."
(A letter to Abbess Eadburga of Thanet, written ca. 742-746)
"Pray, therefore, the merciful defender of our lives, the only refuge of the afflicted, the Lamb of God, who has taken away the sins of the world, to keep us safe from harm with his sheltering right hand, as we go among the dens of such wolves; that where there should be the lovely feet of those who bear the torch of Gospel peace, there may not be the dark and wandering footsteps of apostates, but that when our loins are girded the Father all-merciful may put blazing torches in our hands to enlighten the hearts of the Gentiles to the vision of the Gospel of the glory of Christ."