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BOITIFACE


661


BONIFACE


a Marsian from the province and town of Valeria; he succeeded Boniface III after a vacancy of over nine months; consecrated 25 August, 60S; d. S May, 615 (Duchesne); or, 15 September, 60S — 25 May, 615 (Jaff6). In the time of Pope St. Gregory the Great he was a deacon of the Roman Church and held the position of dispenaator, i. e. the first official in connexion with the administration of the patri- monies. Boniface obtained leave from the Em- peror Phocas to convert the Pantheon into a Christian Church, and on 13 May, 609 (?) the temple erected by Agrippa to Jupiter the Avenger, to Venus, and to Mars was consecrated by the pope to the Virgin Mary and all the MartjTs. (Hence the title S. Maria ad MartjTes; from its shape also called S. Maria Rotunda.) 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. During the pontificate of Boniface, Mellitus, the first Bishop of London, went to Rome "to consult the pope on important matters relative to the newly established English Church" (Bede, H. E., 11, iv). Whilst in Rome he assisted at a coun- cil then being held concerning certain questions on "the life and monastic peace of monks", and, on his departure, took with him to England the decrees of the council together with letters from the pope to LaT\Tence, Archbishop of Canterburj', and to all the clergy, to King Ethelbert, and to all the English people "concerning what was to be observed by the Church of England". The decrees of the council now extant are spurious. The letter to Ethelbert (in William of Malmesbury, De Gest. Pont., I, 1464, ed. Migne) is considered spurious by Hefele (Con- ciliengeschichte, III, 66), questionable by Haddan and Stubbs (Councils, III, 65), and genuine by Jaff6 [Regest. RR. PP., 199S (1548)].

Between 612-615, St. Colimiban, then living at Bobbio in Italy, was persuaded by Agilulf, King of the Lombards, to address a letter on the condemna- tion of the "Three Chapters" to Boniface IV, which is remarkable at once for its expressions of exagger- ated deference and its tone of excessive sharpness. In it he tells the pope that he is charged with heresy (for accepting the Fifth Council, i. e. Constantinople, 553), and exhorts him to summon a council and prove his orthodoxy. But the letter of the impetuous Celt, who failed to grasp the import of the theological problem involved in the "Three Chapters", seems not to have disturbed in the least his relation with the Holy See, and it would be ■nTong to suppose that Columban regarded himself as independent of the pope's authority. During the pontificate of Boniface there wa-s much distress in Rome owing to famine, pestilence, and inundations. The pontiff died in mo- nastic retirement (he had converted his own house into a monastery) and was buried in the portico of St. Peter's. His remains were three times removed — in the tenth or eleventh century, at the close of the thirteenth vmder Boniface Vlll, and to the new St. Peter's on 21 October, 1603. For the earlier inscription on his tomb see Duchesne; for the later, Grisar, "Analecta Romana", I, 193. Boniface IV is commemorated as a saint in the Roman Mar- tyrology on 25 May.

Lilier Pontifiralis (ed. Duchesne), I. 317; Jaffe, Regesta RR PP (anil ed.), I. 220; Acta et Epislola in Mansi, X, 501; Paul thk Df.acon, Hi^t. Lonf/obard., IV, 36 (37); Gasquet, A Short HiMory of the Catholic Church in England (London, 1903). 19; Hunt. A History of the English Church from its Foundation to the Norman Con/juest (London, 1901), 42; JUvN. Lives of the Popes. I, 268-279; Von Reumont, Gesch. der Stadt Rom (Berlin, 1867), II, 156, 165; Gregorovius, II, 104; Langen, 501.

BoNiF.'VCK V, Pope, a Neapolitan who succeeded Deusdedit after a vacancy of more than a year; con- secrated 23 December, 619; d. 25 October, 625. Be- ll.— 42


fore his consecration Italy was disturbed by the rebellion of the eunuch Eleutherius, Exarch of Ravenna. The patrician pretender advanced to- wards Rome, but before he could reach the city, he was slain by his own troops. The "Liber Pontifi- calis" records that Boniface made certain enactments relative to the rights of sanctuary, and that he or- dered the ecclesiastical notaries to obey the laws of the empire on the subject of ^N-ills. He also pre- scribed that acolytes should not presmne to translate the relics of martyrs, and that, in the Lateran Basil- ica, they should not take the place of deacons in administering baptism. Boniface completed and consecrated the cemetery of St. Nicomedes on the Via Xoraentana. 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 Canterbun,', and to Justus, Bishop of Rochester, are no longer extant, but certain other letters of his have been preserved. One is -nTitten 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 Ed^\-in, 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, ^•iii, x, xi). In the "Li- ber 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 Octo- ber, 625. His epitaph is found in Duchesne.

Liber Pontificalis (ed. Duchesne), I, 321-322; jAFFi:^ Regesla RR. PP. (2nd ed.). I, 222; Letters in Mansi, X, 547- 554, and in Bede, Hist. Eccle^. Gent. Anal.; Mann, Lives of the Popes, etc., I, 294-303; Gasquet, A Short History of the- Catholic Church in England, 19; Hunt, A History of the Eng- lish Church, etc., 49, 56, 58; Gregorovius, II, 113; Langen, 506; JuNGMANN, Dissertationes. II, 389.

BoNiF.\cE VI, Pope, a Roman, elected in 896 by the Roman faction in a popular tumult, to succeed Formosus. He had twice incurred a sentence of deprivation of orders, as a subdeacon and as a priest. At the Council of Rome, held by John IX in S9S, his. election was pronounced null. After a pontificate of fifteen days, he is said by some to have died of the gout, by others to have been forcibly ejected to make way for Stephen VI, the candidate of the Spoletan party.

Liber Pontificalis (ed. Duchesne). II, 228; Idem. Le*

?remiers temps de Vetat pontifical (2nd ed., Paris. 1904), 299; AFFE, Regesta RR. PP., I, 439; JuNGMANN, Dissertationes, IV, 22.

BoxiF.\CE VII, Antipope (previously Boniface Fr.\nco), a Roman and son of Ferrucius, was in- truded into the Chair of St. Peter in 974; reinstalled, 984; d. July, 985. In June, 974, one year after the death of Emperor Otto I, Crescentius the son of Theodora and brother of John XIII, stirred up an insurrection at Rome, during which the Romans threw Benedict VI into the Castle of Sant' Angelo, and elevated as his successor the Cardinal-Deacon Franco, who took the name of Boniface VII. The imprisoned pontiff was speedily put to death by the intruder. But in little more than a month the imperial rep- resentative. Count Sicco, had taken possession of the city, and Boniface, not being able to maintain him- self, robbed the treasury of the Vatican Basilica and fled to Constantinople. After an exile of nine years at Byzantium, Franco, on the death of Otto II, 7 De- cember, 983, quickly returned to Rome, overpowered John XIV (April, 984), thrust him into the dungeons of Sant' Angelo, where the WTetched man died four months later, and again assumed the government of the Church. The usurper had never ceased to look upon himself as the lawful pontiff, and reckoned the