St. Boniface knew that in winter the inhabitants of the village of Geismar ( in Germany) gathered around a huge old oak tree (known as the “Thunder Oak”) dedicated to the god Thor. This annual event of worship centered on sacrificing a human, usually a small child, to the pagan god. Boniface desired to convert the village by destroying the Thunder Oak, which the pagans had previously boasted the God of Boniface could not destroy, so he gathered a few companions and journeyed to Geismar.
His fellow missionaries were scared and fearful that the Germans might kill them, so they balked when they reached the outskirts of the village on Christmas Eve. Boniface steadied the nerves of his friends and as they approached the pagan gathering he said, “Here is the Thunder Oak; and here the cross of Christ shall break the hammer of the false god Thor.” St. Boniface and his friends arrived at the time of the sacrifice, which was interrupted by their presence. In a show of great trust in God and born from a desire to enkindle the fire of Christ in the German pagans, Boniface grabbed an axe and chopped down the Thunder Oak of mighty Thor.
The Germans were astounded. The holy bishop preached the Gospel to the people and used a little fir tree that was behind the now felled oak tree as a tool of evangelization. Pointing to it he said,
"This little tree, a young child of the forest, shall be your holy tree tonight. It is the wood of peace... It is the sign of endless life, for its leaves are ever green. See how it points upward to heaven. Let this be called the tree of the Christ-child; gather about it, not in the wild wood, but in your homes; there it will shelter no deeds of blood, but loving gifts and of kindness."
St. Boniface around 725
Germany families set up a paradise tree in their homes on Dec. 24, the religious feast day of Adam and Eve. They hung wafers on it to symbolize the Eucharistic host, the Christian sign of redemption.
Joshua's Stone has created truly unique ornaments for your family Christmas tree.
These Catholic Christmas ornaments come with a red satin ribbon and tree hanger in a gift box. Choose from your favorite iconic Catholic images from the Sacred Heart, Immaculate Heart to a Miraculous Medal.
After Christmas, remove the ribbon, and place them on your wall.