Popes in a Year
#69 - Pope Boniface V
Pope from December 23, 619 - October 25, 625 A.D.
Died: October 25, 625 A.D.
Pronounced: BAHN-ih-fuss (not “bony face”)
Give me the scoop on Boniface V.
Boniface was a native of Naples, but little else is known about him prior to his papacy. He was elected nearly a year after the death of St. Adeodatus I, taking office two days before Christmas in 619. After that, Boniface was relatively busy. He decided that those in the minor orders shouldn’t be allowed to transport relics, nor should they replace deacons in performing baptisms. He decreed that men whose lives were sought after could take asylum in churches, but that was nevertheless conveniently forgotten by pursuers many times. Boniface also had a cemetery completed and consecrated to
on the Via Nomentana. According to the
he had a great love for the clergy, and was described as “the mildest of men.” Boniface V died October 25, 625 and was buried in St. Peter’s Basilica.
What was he known for?
Known for having held the young English Church close to his heart, Boniface V did much to help the faith grow in that part of the world. The Venerable Bede noted in some of his writings that this pope wrote often to his brothers to the west, in one instance granting the Archbishop of Canterbury permission to consecrate new bishops as needed. He also wrote a letter of congratulations to the first Christian king of Northumbria (modern-day northern England), after his recent conversion.
Boniface V helped to further the tradition of following a person’s last will and testament after death. One of his acts as pope was to command that the sanctity of wills be kept, since at that point they were being drawn up by clerics and ecclesiastical notaries.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
In 620, the town of Cholula was first settled in Central Mexico. It’s thought to be the oldest continuously-occupied town on the entire continent. No word on whether the hot sauce is that old, too.
Coming tomorrow....Pope Honorius I
SOURCES (and further reading)
John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Pope Boniface V -
Pope Boniface V -
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Thursday, April 6 at 2:00AM