Boniface of Tarsus

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Saint Boniface of Tarsus
Bonifatius.jpg
Martyr
BornThird century
Rome
Died Tarsus, Cilicia
Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Church
Catholic Church (formerly)
Feast 19 December (Eastern Orthodox Church; 14 May in pre-1969 General Roman Calendar
Attributes Martyr

Saint Boniface of Tarsus was, according to legend, executed for being a Christian in the year 307 at Tarsus, where he had gone from Rome in order to bring back to his mistress Aglaida (also written Aglaia) relics of the martyrs.

Christians people who adhere to Christianity

Christians are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words Christ and Christian derive from the Koine Greek title Christós (Χριστός), a translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ).

Relic ancient religious object preserved for purposes of veneration

In religion, a relic usually consists of the physical remains of a saint or the personal effects of the saint or venerated person preserved for purposes of veneration as a tangible memorial. Relics are an important aspect of some forms of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Shamanism, and many other religions. Relic derives from the Latin reliquiae, meaning "remains", and a form of the Latin verb relinquere, to "leave behind, or abandon". A reliquary is a shrine that houses one or more religious relics.

Christian martyrs Person killed for their testimony of Jesus

A Christian martyr is a person who is killed because of their testimony of Jesus. In years of the early church, this often occurred through stoning, crucifixion, burning at the stake or other forms of torture and capital punishment. The word "martyr" comes from the Koine word μάρτυς, mártys, which means "witness" or "testimony."

Contents

Biography

Aglaida and Boniface (painting by Alexandre Cabanel) Alexandre Cabanel 003.jpg
Aglaida and Boniface (painting by Alexandre Cabanel)

Boniface was one of Aglaida's slaves. The name Aglaida is sometimes given as Aglae. Both were pagans and lived in debauchery together; some legends say they were lovers. Tiring of their way of life, both discovered Christianity as a meaningful way. Aglaida decided to send him on an errand to collect holy relics. Finding upon arrival at Tarsus that the authorities were torturing Christians, he openly declared himself to be a Christian. His own body constituted the relics that were brought back to Aglaida, who in turn became a Christian.

In his memory she constructed a church, which today is the Church of Santi Bonifacio e Alessio. She distributed her wealth to the poor and lived in a monastery for 18 years. She apparently received the divine gift to exorcise evil spirits.

The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates both of them on 19 December as the "Martyr Boniface at Tarsus in Cilicia and Righteous Aglaida of Rome".

Eastern Orthodox Church Christian Church

The Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 200–260 million members. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Pope of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops.

In the 12th century the name of Boniface (without Aglaida) was included on 14 May in the General Roman Calendar with the lowest rank of feast ("simple"). In 1955, Pope Pius XII reduced the celebration to a commemoration within the ferial Mass (see General Roman Calendar of Pope Pius XII). Because of the totally fabulous character of the story, [1] the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar removed entirely the mention of this Boniface, who also is not among the nine saints of this name that the Roman Martyrology recognizes. [2]

The General Roman Calendar is the liturgical calendar that indicates the dates of celebrations of saints and mysteries of the Lord in the Roman Rite, wherever this liturgical rite is in use. These celebrations are a fixed annual date; or occur on a particular day of the week ; or relate to the date of Easter. National and diocesan liturgical calendars, including that of the diocese of Rome itself as well as the calendars of religious institutes and even of continents, add other saints and mysteries or transfer the celebration of a particular saint or mystery from the date assigned in the General Calendar to another date.

Ranking of liturgical days in the Roman Rite serves two purposes. The rank indicates some particular points about the liturgical manner of celebrating the day: for instance, the Mass of a Solemnity will include recitation or singing of the Gloria in Excelsis and the Creed; that of what is now called in a specific technical sense a Feast will have the Gloria but not the Creed. A Memorial will have neither, although it may have proper readings.

Pope Pius XII 260th Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, was head of the Catholic Church from 2 March 1939 to his death. Before his election to the papacy, he served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio to Germany, and Cardinal Secretary of State, in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, most notably the Reichskonkordat with Nazi Germany.

Because of the date of his feast, Boniface of Tarsus was one of three who, because a cold spell was believed to be common on 12–14 May, were called the Ice Saints in Switzerland, Poland, Bohemia and eastern Germany, a tradition known also to Martin Luther. [3]

The Ice Saints is a name given to St. Mamertus, St. Pancras, and St. Servatius in Austrian, Belgian, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, North-Italian, Polish, Slovene and Swiss folklore. They are so named because their feast days fall on the days of May 11, May 12, and May 13 respectively, known as "the black-thorn winter".

Martin Luther Saxon priest, monk and theologian, seminal figure in Protestant Reformation

Martin Luther, was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.

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References

  1. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 123
  2. Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN   978-88-209-7210-3), p. 675
  3. Flaskamp, Franz (1964). "Der h. Bonifatius im Blickfelde Luthers". Archiv für Kulturgeschichte . 46: 219–226.

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