Saint of the Day – 8 May – Saint Pope Boniface IV (c 550-615) Bishop of Rome from 608 until his death, Deacon, Assistant and dDsciple of St Pope Gregory the Great, Papal Treasurer under Pope Gregory. Born c 550 at Valeria, Abruzzi, Italy and died in 615 at Rome, Italy of natural causes.
Boniface was the son of a man named Johannes, a Physician, from the area of Maria and town of Valeria. It is assumed that he was a student of Pope Gregory I. Around 591, Boniface was ordained a Cardinal-Deacon. Under that office, he served Gregory as treasurer . In other words, he was the first official in connection with the administration of papal property.
Boniface IV was elected to succeed Boniface III but a vacancy of over nine months ensued, awaiting imperial confirmation from Constantinople. He was consecrated on 25 September 608.
Like his mentor, he ran the Lateran Palace as a Monastery. As Pope, he encouraged Monasticism. With imperial permission, he converted the Pantheon into a Church. This was the first pagan temple in Rome to be transformed. On 13 May 609, the Pantheon was consecrated to the Blessed Virgin and all the Christian Martyrs. Boniface ordered 28 cartloads of bones from the Catacombs to be reburied under the high Altar of the new Church.
In 610, St 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 concerning certain questions on “the life and monastic peace of monks” and, on his departure, took to England the Decree of the Council together with letters from the Pope to Archbishop Laurence of Canterbury and to all the clergy, to King Æthelberht of Kent and to all the Anglo-Saxons.
Inspired by Gregory the Great, he converted his home into a Monastery and divided his time between the Monk’s life and the Papal life until he died. He was buried at his Monastery and reburied several times, the last time at the new St Peter’s Basilica on 21 October 1603.
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