< The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church - Biographical Dictionary - Before 619

The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Desudedit (or Adeodatus I) (615-618)
Before 619


(1) 1. BONIFACIO (?-625)

Birth. (No date found), Campagna, Naples. Son of Giovanni Fummini.

Education. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of the title of S. Sisto before 619.

Papacy. Consecrated pope on December 23, 619. Took the name Boniface V. Thirteen months had passed between his election and his consecration, awaiting the approval of Emperor Heraclius, who was involved in a military campaign against the Persians. The approval of the papal election was from this moment delegated to the Byzantine exarch of Ravenna. During his less than six year pontificate, Pope Bonifacio V was mostly involved with internal matters of the city of Rome. One of them was related to the activities of the ecclesiastical notaries and another one with the right of asylum. Moreover, he also concerned himself with attributions of the acolytes, prohibiting them to carry the relics of the martryrs and from baptizing with the deacons, and taking the place of the subdeacons. He maintained excellent relations with the secular clergy as a reaction to the trend of Pope Gregory I the Great, which had been followed by his predecessors Popes Boniface III and Boniface IV, favoring the monastic clergy. On the other hand, Pope Boniface V favored and supported the missionary and charitable traditions that were characteristic of the apostolic ministry of Pope Gregory I the Great. His anonymous biographer in Liber pontificalis points out, as worthy of special praise, the paternal solicitude towards the secular clergy demonstrated by Pope Boniface V; and as especially meritorious, that he derogated the habit of retaining a percentage of the ecclesiastical revenues.

Pope Boniface V effectively supported the missionary work conducted by the monastic orders among the Anglos and Saxons, and when, in 624, the metropolitan see of Canterbury became vacant, the pope conferred the pallium on Bishop Justus of Rochester, who, like his predecessor Archbishop Mellitus, was one of the monks sent by Pope Gregory I the Great to the island. He also sent letters of King Edwin of Northumbria, and to his wife Queen Ethelburga, who was a Christian, asking her to try to obtain her husband's conversion.The pope was very active trying to alleviate the poverty of the most humble of the population and promote their improvement, thus showing his fidelity to the ideals of the Gregorian traditions. He distributed his personal fortune in alms to the poor. Pope Boniface V restructured the cemetery of S. Nicomede in via Nomentana. During his pontificate, he ordained twenty nine bishops, twenty six priests and four deacons.

Death. October 23, 625, Rome. He was buried in St. Peter's basilica two days later. His tomb was destroyed during the demolition of the old basilica and the construction of the new one in the 16th and 17th centuries. The text of his epitaph was preserved (1).

Bibliography. Bertolini, Paolo. "Bonifacio V." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, I, 583-585; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum : et S.R.E. Cardinalium ab initio nascentis Ecclesiae usque ad Clementem IX P. O. M. Alphonsi Ciaconii Ord. Praed. & aliorum opera descriptæ : cum uberrimis notis. Ab Augustino Oldoino, Soc. Jesu recognitae, et ad quatuor tomos ingenti ubique rerum accessione productae. Additis Pontificum recentiorum imaginibus, & Cardinalium insignibus, plurimisque aeneis figuris, cum indicibus locupletissimis. Romæ : P. et A. De Rubeis, 1677, I, col. 433-436; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. 37; De Angelis, Maria Antonietta. "Bonifacio V, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 152; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 144, no. 1; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 69-70; Le Liber pontificalis. Paris : E. de Boccard, 1981, 1955. 3 v. : facsims. (Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d'Athènes et de Rome). Notes: Reprint of the 1955 edition./ Includes indexes./ Vol. 3: "Additions et corrections de L. Duchesne publiées par Cyrille Vogel ... avec L'Histoire du Liber pontificalis dupuis l'édition de L. Duchesne une bibliographie et des tables générales, I, 621-622; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, p. 119-120, no. 69; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 51-52; Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab conditio Ecclesia. Ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. 2 v. Reprint. Originally published : Lipsiae : Veit et comp., 1885-1888. Original t.p. included : Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia : ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Editionem secundam correctam et auctam edidit Philippus Jaffè ; auspiciis Gulielmi Wattenbach; curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald, I, 222-223.

Links. Biography, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in English, (Britannica); his image and biography, in English; biography by Joseph Brusher, in English, Pope through the Ages; biography by Paolo Bertolini, in Italian, Enciclopedia dei papi, Treccani; biography, in Italian, Dizionario biografico degli italiani, Treccani; biography, in German; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; engravings, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio , Bologna; his engraving, Heritage-Images, amazon.co.uk; his engraving, Imagestate Media; his engraving, iStockphoto; his engraving, Il Mercante in Asta; engravings, Araldica Vaticana; his effigy on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic; his effigy on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engravingBildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; , Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; and another engraving from the same source.

(1) This is the text of the epitaph, taken from Reardon, The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs, p. 51:

DA MECVM GEMITVM SINGVLTI ROMA DOLORIS
PLENA SACERDOTIS LVCTIBVS EGREGII
CVR QVONIAM DEFLERE SOLET MENS ARTA PERICLIS
PLEBSQVE ORBATA PIIS INSVPER OFFICIIS
HIC VIR INACCESSIS TENVIT CONTRARIA FACTIS
HAEC DOCVMENTA BONIS MORIBVS APTA SVIS
MITIS IN ADVERSIS POSITVS REBVSQVE SECVNDIS
OMIA GRATA FERENS ALTERA PRESSA TENENS
PRAEVENIT NE NATA FORENT DELICTA VIRITIM
ORTA IAM SECVIT CVM PIETATE GRAVI
IN COMMVNE BONVS BONIFATIVS INDE VOCATVS
PROPRIA LVCRA PVTANS PVBLICA SVBSIDIA
MVNIFICVS SAPIENS CASTVS SINCERVS ET AEQWS
ISTA BEATORVM SVNT PIA SVFFRAGIA
NAM VIDVALIS APEX PVPILLORVMQVE PHALANGES
CAECORVMQVE CHORVS DVX TIBI LVCIS ERIT
INFREMVIT POST FATA SVIS MORS SAVCIA TELIS
RESPICIENS MERITVM VIVERE POSSE VIRVM
CVLMEN APOSTOLICVM QVINQVE ET BIS MENSIBVS ANNIS
REXIT ET AD MAGNI CVLMEN HONORIS ABIT


    On the same page, Reardon includes the epitaph recorded by ecclesiastical historian Cardinal Cesare Baronius, Orat.:

CUR TITULATA DIU TORPUERUNT IURA SEPULCRI
ET POPULI NULLUS PERSTREPUIT GEMITUS.
SEGNITIES NON CULPA FUIT QUICUNQUE REQUIRIS
NAM DOLOR INCLAUSUS PIUS LACERARE SOLET
PANDE DOLOR GEMITUM MERITISQUE QUIESCE BEATIS
UT LIBEAT SUMMI GESTA REFERRE PATRIS.
HIC VIR AB EXORTU PETRI EST NUTRITUS OVILE.
SED MERUIT SANCTI PASTOR ADESSE GREGIS
PURA FIDES HOMINIS VOTIS MANDATA BENIGNIS
EXCUVIANS CHRISTI CANTIBUS HYMNISONIS.
SIMPLICITAS SAPIENS VIVAX SOLERTIA SIMPLEX
SERPENTINA FUIT SIMPLICITATE VIGENS.
CUMQUE QUATER DENOS COMPLERET PRESBYTER ANNOS
PERFECTUM NUMERUM TERQUE QUATERQUE GERENS
HOC TIBI PRO MERITIS SUCCESSOR HONORIVS. AMPLIS
MARMORE CONSTRUXIT MUNUS EPITAPHII.


    Both epigraphs appear in Chacón, Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum : et S.R.E. Cardinalium, I, col. 435. Montini, Le tombe dei papi, p. 119, no. 69, says that the second one is assigned to Pope Deusdedit (or Adeodatus I).

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