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St. Boniface
First Archbishop of Mainz

The Prince-Archbishopric and Electorate of Mainz ranks as the most senior and prestigious of the states of the Holy Roman Empire (First Reich). The Archbishop-Elector of Mainz also holds the titular office of Arch-Chancellor of Germany. During the time of the Holy Roman Empire as a reigning government structure, the Archbishop was second only to the Holy Roman Emperor himself.

The diocese was established in the ancient Roman era. The first bishop was appointed in 343. The first archbishop was St. Boniface, who was appointed in 747. St. Boniface was an Anglo-Saxon from the English Kingdom of Wessex and became the Apostle to the Germans. Much of his work was under the protection of the Carolingian Duke of the Franks, Charles "the Hammer" Martel, grandfather of Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor. St. Boniface was responsible for helping to bring to fruition the relationship between the Carolingians and the Papacy, leading to the eventual establishment of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Electorate ended as a functioning government with the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806. After the fall of the Napoleonic Empire, the Electoral territory went into the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt. In 2015, the temporal authority of the Prince-Archbishopric was ceded to the Patriarchate of Saint Stephen under the Holy Roman Empire and is held by the Arch-Chancellor of the Patriarchal See (APS 2015). The spiritual administration of the present-day Diocese of Mainz remains with the local Bishop appointed by the Holy Father. The House of Frankfurt holds the office of hereditary Regent of Mainz.


Below: The arms of the Electorate of Mainz (within the blue border), as depicted on the
quaternion eagle of the Holy Roman Empire 1510.






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