Papa Bonifacio IV
|Papacy began||25 September 608|
|Papacy ended||8 May 615|
|Created cardinal||10 May 591|
by Pope Gregory I
|Born||Valeria, Byzantine Empire|
|Died||8 May 615 (aged 65)|
Rome, Byzantine Empire
|Previous post||Cardinal-Deacon of the Holy Roman Church (591-608)|
|Feast day||8 May|
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
|Canonized||by Pope Boniface VIII|
|Other popes named Boniface|
|Papal styles of|
Pope Boniface IV
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
Pope Boniface IV (Latin : Bonifatius IV; died 8 May 615) was Pope from 25 September 608 to his death in 615. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church with a universal feast falling annually on 8 May. Boniface had served as a deacon under Pope Gregory I, and like his mentor had made his house into a monastery. As Pope, he encouraged monks and monasticism. With permission of the Emperor, he converted the Pantheon into the Church of St. Mary and the Martyrs. In 610, he conferred with Mellitus (d. 624), first bishop of London, regarding the needs of the English Church.
Pope Gregory I, commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was Pope from 3 September 590 to 12 March 604 AD. He is famous for instigating the first recorded large-scale mission from Rome, the Gregorian Mission, to convert the then-pagan Anglo-Saxons in England to Christianity. Gregory is also well known for his writings, which were more prolific than those of any of his predecessors as Pope. The epithet Saint Gregory the Dialogist has been attached to him in Eastern Christianity because of his Dialogues. English translations of Eastern texts sometimes list him as Gregory "Dialogos", or the Anglo-Latinate equivalent "Dialogus".
Boniface was born in what is now the Province of L'Aquila; his father was a physician named John. His family was of Marsi origins according to the Liber Pontificalis. At the time of Pope Gregory I, he was a deacon of the Roman Church and held the position of dispensator, that is, the first official in connection with the administration of the patrimonies.
The Province of L'Aquila is the largest, most mountainous and least densely populated province of the Abruzzo region of Southern Italy. It comprises about half the landmass of Abruzzo and occupies the western part of the region. It has borders with the provinces of Teramo to the north, Pescara and Chieti to the east, Isernia to the south and Frosinone, Rome and Rieti to the west. Its capital is the city of L'Aquila.
Marsi is the Latin exonym for an Italic people of ancient Italy, whose chief centre was Marruvium, on the eastern shore of Lake Fucinus. The area in which they lived is now called Marsica. During the Roman Republic, the people of the region spoke a language now termed Marsian in scholarly English. It is attested by several inscriptions and a few glosses. The Linguist List classifies it as one of the Umbrian Group of languages.
He succeeded Boniface III after a vacancy of over nine months, awaiting confirmation from Constantinople. He was consecrated on either 25 August (Duchesne) or 15 September (Jaffé) in 608. (His death is listed as either 8 May or 25 May 615 by these same two authorities.)
Louis Marie Olivier Duchesne was a French priest, philologist, teacher and a critical historian of Christianity and Roman Catholic liturgy and institutions.
Philipp Jaffé was a German historian and philologist. The Schwersenz native, despite discrimination against his Jewish religion, was one of the most important German medievalists of the 19th century.
Boniface obtained leave from the Byzantine Emperor Phocas to convert the Pantheon in Rome into a Christian church, and on 13 May 609,the temple erected by Agrippa to Jupiter the Avenger, Venus, and Mars was consecrated by the pope to the Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs. It was the first instance at Rome of the transformation of a pagan temple into a place of Christian worship. Twenty-eight cartloads of sacred bones were said to have been removed from the Catacombs and placed in a porphyry basin beneath the high altar.
Phocas was Byzantine Emperor from 602 to 610. The early life of Phocas is largely unknown, but he rose to prominence in 602, as a leader in the revolt against Emperor Maurice. Phocas captured Constantinople and overthrew Maurice on 23 November 602, and declared himself Byzantine Emperor on the same day. Phocas deeply distrusted the elite of Constantinople, and therefore installed his relatives in high military positions, and brutally purged his opponents. Phocas was an incompetent leader, both of the administration and army, and under him the Byzantine Empire was threatened by multiple enemies, with frequent raids in the Balkans from the Avars and Slavs, and a Sassanid invasion of the eastern provinces. Because of Phocas' incompetence and brutality, the Exarch of Carthage, Heraclius the Elder, rebelled against him. Heraclius the Elder's son, Heraclius, succeeded in taking Constantinople on 5 October 610, and executed Phocas on the same day, before declaring himself the Byzantine Emperor.
The Pantheon is a former Roman temple, now a church, in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus. It was completed by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD. Its date of construction is uncertain, because Hadrian chose not to inscribe the new temple but rather to retain the inscription of Agrippa's older temple, which had burned down.
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.
In 610, Mellitus, the first Bishop of London, went to Rome "to consult the pope on important matters relative to the newly established English Church". While in Rome he assisted at a synod then being held concerning certain questions on "the life and monastic peace of monks", and, on his departure, took with him to England the decree of the council together with letters from the pope to Lawrence, Archbishop of Canterbury, and to all the clergy, to King Æthelberht of Kent, and to all the English people in general.The decrees of the council now extant are spurious. The letter to Æthelberht is considered spurious by Hefele, questionable by Haddan and Stubbs, and genuine by Jaffé.
Mellitus was the first Bishop of London in the Saxon period, the third Archbishop of Canterbury, and a member of the Gregorian mission sent to England to convert the Anglo-Saxons from their native paganism to Christianity. He arrived in 601 AD with a group of clergy sent to augment the mission, and was consecrated as Bishop of London in 604. Mellitus was the recipient of a famous letter from Pope Gregory I known as the Epistola ad Mellitum, preserved in a later work by the medieval chronicler Bede, which suggested the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons be undertaken gradually, integrating pagan rituals and customs. In 610, Mellitus returned to Italy to attend a council of bishops, and returned to England bearing papal letters to some of the missionaries.
The Bishop of London is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury.
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism by monastic living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate his life to serving all other living beings, or to be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live his or her life in prayer and contemplation. The concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions and in philosophy.
Between 612 and 615, the Irish missionary Columbanus, then living at Bobbio in Italy, was persuaded by Agilulf, King of the Lombards, to address a letter on the condemnation of the "Three Chapters" to Boniface IV. He tells the pope that he is suspect of heresy for accepting the Fifth Ecumenical Council (the Second Council of Constantinople in 553), and exhorts him to summon a council and prove his orthodoxy.There is no record of a rejoinder from Boniface.
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Columbanus, also known as St. Columban, was an Irish missionary notable for founding a number of monasteries from around 590 in the Frankish and Lombard kingdoms, most notably Luxeuil Abbey in present-day France and Bobbio Abbey in present-day Italy. He is remembered as a key figure in the Hiberno-Scottish mission, or Irish missionary activity in early medieval Europe. In recent years, however, as Columbanus's deeds and legacy have come to be re-examined by historians, the traditional narrative of his career has been challenged and doubts have been raised regarding his actual involvement in missionary work and the extent to which he was driven by purely religious motives or also by a concern for playing an active part in politics and church politics in Francia.
Bobbio is a small town and commune in the province of Piacenza in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy. It is located in the Trebbia River valley southwest of the town Piacenza. There is also an abbey and a diocese of the same name. Bobbio is the administrative center of the Unione Montana Valli Trebbia e Luretta.
Boniface had converted his own house into a monastery, where he retired and died. He was buried in the portico of St. Peter's Basilica. His remains were three times removed — in the tenth or eleventh century, at the close of the thirteenth under Boniface VIII, and to the new St. Peter's on 21 October 1603.
Boniface IV is commemorated as a saint in the Roman Martyrology on his feast day, 8 May.
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|Wikisource has the text of the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia article Pope Boniface III .|
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