A Neapolitan who succeeded Deusdedit after a vacancy of more than a year; consecrated 23 December, 619; d. 25 October, 625. Before his consecration Italy was disturbed by the rebellion of the eunuch Eleutherius, Exarch of Ravenna. The patrician pretender advanced towards Rome, but before before he could reach the city, he was slain by his own troops. The "Liber Pontificalis" records that Boniface made certain enactments relative to the rights of sanctuary, and that he ordered the ecclesiastical notaries to obey the laws of the empire on the subject of wills. He also prescribed that acolytes should not presume to translate the relics of martyrs, and that, in the Lateran Basilica, they should not take the place of deacons in administering baptism. Boniface completed and consecrated the cemetery of St. Nicomedes on the Via Nomentana. From the Venerable Bede we learn of the pope's affectionate concern for the English Church. The "letters of exhortation" which he is said to have addressed to Mellitus, Archbishop of Canterbury, and to Justus, Bishop of Rochester, are no longer extant, but certain other letters of his have been preserved. One is written to Justus, after he had succeeded Mellitus as Archbishop of Canterbury (624), conferring the pallium upon him and directing him to " ordain bishops as occasion should require". According to Bede, Pope Boniface also sent letters to Edwin, King of Northumbria (625), urging him to embrace the Christian Faith, and to the Christian Princess Ethelberga, Edwin's spouse, exhorting her to use her best endeavours for the conversion of her consort (Bede, H. E., II, vii, viii, x, xi). In the "Liber Pontificalis" Boniface is described as "the mildest of men", whose chief distinction was his great love for the clergy. He was buried in St. Peter's, 25 October, 625. His epitaph is found in Duchesne.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online