|Papacy began||28 December 418|
|Papacy ended||4 September 422|
|Died||4 September 422|
|Feast day||25 October|
|Other popes named Boniface|
|Papal styles of|
Pope Boniface I
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
Pope Boniface I (Latin : Bonifatius I; died 4 September 422) was Pope from 28 December 418 to his death in 422. His election was disputed by the supporters of Eulalius, until the dispute was settled by the Emperor. Boniface was active maintaining church discipline and he restored certain privileges to the metropolitical sees of Narbonne and Vienne, exempting them from any subjection to the primacy of Arles. He was a contemporary of Augustine of Hippo, who dedicated to him some of his works.
Little is known of his life antecedent to his election. The "Liber Pontificalis" calls him a Roman, and the son of the presbyter Jocundus. He is believed to have been ordained by Pope Damasus I (366-384) and to have served as representative of Innocent I at Constantinople (c. 405).
On the day of the funeral for Pope Zosimus, which was held at San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, partisans of Eulalius occupied the Lateran. Later that day, Eulalius arrived there with a crowd consisting of deacons, laity and a few priests, and was elected bishop. The new Pope and his supporters remained at the church until Sunday, 29 December, for the formal ordination customarily took place on a Sunday.
Meanwhile, on the Saturday after Eulalius had been elected, a majority of the priests of the church elected Boniface, who had previously been a councilor of Pope Innocent, and he too was consecrated on 29 December, at the Church of Saint Marcellus in the Campus Martius. The Urban Prefect Aurelius Anicius Symmachus warned both parties to keep the peace, and wrote to the Emperor Honorius that Eulalius, who had been elected first and in due order, was in the right. The Emperor answered on 3 January 419, recognizing Eulalius as the rightful Bishop of Rome. Despite these official acts, violence broke out between the two groups, and Boniface was seized by the Prefect's police and taken to a lodging outside the walls where he was detained under the surveillance of the Prefect's agents.
Boniface's partisans did not let the matter rest there and sent a petition to Emperor Honorius alleging irregularities in the election of Eulalius. In response, the Emperor suspended his previous order and summoned both parties to appear for judgment before him and other Italian bishops on 8 February. The hearing deferred a decision to a synod which was scheduled to meet at Spoleto on 13 June, but commanded both Boniface and Eulalius to stay out of Rome. Since Easter was approaching, the bishop of Spoleto, an outside party, was asked to celebrate the rites of this important holy day in Rome.
Both the Empress Galla Placidia and her husband Constantius III favored Eulalius, who had been elected first. Stewart Oost observes that papal elections at the time were "still quite indefinite and both parties could thus with right claim proper election and consecration." Although Eulalius appeared to be destined to be confirmed to the post, by boldly entering Rome on 18 March—Easter Sunday that year fell on 30 March—and disobeying Imperial orders, he lost the support of the authorities. Symmachus sent his police to occupy the Lateran, where Eulalius had established himself, and escorted him to a house outside the walls of Rome. Bishop Achilleus of Spoleto celebrated the Mass in the Lateran. The proposed Council of Spoleto was canceled, and on 3 April 419, Emperor Honorius recognized Boniface as the rightful Pope.
Boniface ordered the singing of the Gloria in excelsis on Maundy-Thursday, and regulated several points of Church discipline. He reversed some of his predecessor's policies regarding church administration. He reduced the vicariate authority giving Patroclus, Bishop of Arles, jurisdiction over other Gallic sees and restored the metropolitan powers of the chief bishops of provinces. He supported Hilary, Archbishop of Narbonne, in his choice of a bishop of the vacant See of Lodeve, against Patroclus, who tried to install someone else. He also insisted that Maximus, Bishop of Valence, should be tried for his alleged crimes, not by a primate, but by a synod of the bishops of Gaul, and promised to sustain their decision.
Boniface supported Augustine in combating Pelagianism forwarding to him two Pelagian letters Boniface had received calumniating Augustine. In recognition of this solicitude Augustine dedicated to Boniface his rejoinder contained in Contra duas Epistolas Pelagianoruin Libri quatuor.
He persuaded Emperor Theodosius II to return Illyricum to Western jurisdiction, and defended the rights of the Holy See.
Boniface I died Sept. 4, 422, in Rome.
Galla Placidia, daughter of the Roman emperor Theodosius I, was regent to Valentinian III from 423 until his majority in 437, and a major force in Roman politics for most of her life. She was queen consort to Ataulf, king of the Visigoths from 414 until his death in 415, and briefly empress consort to Constantius III in 421.
Pope Zosimus reigned from 18 March 417 to his death in 418. He was born in Mesoraca, Calabria.
The 420s decade ran from January 1, 420, to December 31, 429.
Year 417 (CDXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Honorius and Constantius. The denomination 417 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Year 422 (CDXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Honorius and Theodosius. The denomination 422 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Year 395 (CCCXCV) was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Olybrius and Probinus. The denomination 395 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
The 390s decade ran from January 1, 390, to December 31, 399
The 410s decade ran from January 1, 410, to December 31, 419.
Ioannes, known in English as Joannes or even John, was a Roman usurper (423–425) against Valentinian III.
Pope John IV was head of the Catholic Church from 24 December 640 to his death in 642. His election followed a four-month vacancy.
Antipope Eulalius was antipope from December 418 to April 419, in opposition to Pope Boniface I. At first the claims of Eulalius as the rightful Pope were recognized by the Emperor Honorius, who sent a letter dated 3 January 419 recognizing him and pardoning the partisans of Boniface provided they left Rome.
Justa Grata Honoria, commonly referred to during her lifetime as Honoria, was the older sister of the Western Roman Emperor Valentinian III. She is famous for her plea of love and help to Attila the Hun, which led to his proclamation of his claim to rule the Western Roman Empire.
ComesBonifatius was a Roman general and governor of the Diocese of Africa. He campaigned against the Visigoths in Roman Gaul and the Vandals in Roman North Africa. An ally of Galla Placidia, Bonifacius engaged in Roman civil wars on her behalf against the generals Flavius Felix in 427-429 and Flavius Aetius in 432. Although he defeated the latter at the Battle of Rimini, Bonifacius suffered a fatal wound and was succeeded by his son-in-law Sebastianus as patricius of the Western Roman Empire.
The Theodosian dynasty was a Roman family that rose to eminence in the waning days of the Roman Empire.
Placidia was the wife of Olybrius, unrecognized Western Roman Emperor. Her full name is uncertain. The Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The reign by reign record of the rulers of Imperial Rome (1995) by Chris Scarre gives her name as Galla Placidia Valentiniana or Galla Placidia the Younger, based on naming conventions for women in ancient Rome.
Flavius Castinus held the position of patricius in the court of Roman Emperor Honorius at the time of the Emperor's death, and most likely for some time before. He also served as consul for the year 424.
There was no uniform procedure for papal selection before AD 1059. The bishops of Rome and supreme pontiffs (popes) of the Catholic Church were often appointed by their predecessors or by political rulers. While some kind of election often characterized the procedure, an election that included meaningful participation of the laity was rare, especially as the popes' claims to temporal power solidified into the Papal States. The practice of papal appointment during this period would later result in the jus exclusivae, i. e., a right to veto the selection that Catholic monarchs exercised into the twentieth century.
The Ostrogothic Papacy was a period from 493 to 537 where the papacy was strongly influenced by the Ostrogothic Kingdom, if the pope was not outright appointed by the Ostrogothic King. The selection and administration of popes during this period was strongly influenced by Theodoric the Great and his successors Athalaric and Theodahad. This period terminated with Justinian I's (re)conquest of Rome during the Gothic War (535–554), inaugurating the Byzantine Papacy (537-752).
The Placidia Palace was the official residence of the papal apocrisiarius, and the intermittent home of the Pope himself when in residence at Constantinople. The apocrisiarius held "considerable influence as a conduit for both public and covert communications" between Pope and Byzantine emperor.
Rufius Antonius Agrypnius Volusianus was a fifth-century Roman aristocrat who held at least two important posts during the reign of the emperor Honorius. He is best known for his exchange of letters with St. Augustine.
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