Saint Boniface I, the Forty Second Pope (Successors of Peter – Part 42)

Saint Boniface I, the Forty Second Pope (Successors of Peter – Part 42)

Saint Boniface succeeded Saint Zosimus as the Forty Second successor of Peter just a day after the demise of the former Pontiff.

Almost immediately after Pope Zosimus was laid to rest in his tomb, a few deacons in Rome, together with a few priests, assembled in the Lateran Basilica and elected Eulalius, the pope's chief deacon, as the next Successor. The election however was done by a select few. On the very next day, on December 28, AD418 designated priests and faithful gathered and rightfully elected Boniface as the next Pontiff.

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Before being the Pontiff, Boniface was a priest in Rome and was sent to Constantinople as Pope Innocent's representative. Boniface who was known for his generosity to the poor, humility, and high education was consecrated Bishop of Rome in the presence of nine bishops in St. Peter's Basilica.

After the more lenient rule of Pope Zosimus, Pope Boniface I is seen as the Pope who returned discipline to the Catholic Church.

Pope Boniface I restored the metropolitan powers of the congregations of Marseilles, Vienne, and Narbonne by the establishment of the papal vicariate at Arles.

He defended Illyricum against the claims of the Patriarch of Constantinople and declared Illyricum a province under papal authority. Pope Boniface worked diligently to save the Church from Pelagianism, providing full support to Augustine's work and remaining steadfast in orthodox studies.

In AD420 Boniface fell ill and was on the point of death. The party of the deacons hearing of the condition of the Pope tried to bring back the anti-Pope Eulalius. However, Boniface miraculously recovered.

Pope Boniface was a strong advocate of papal infallibility and authority. He originated the famous Latin maxim, " Roma locuta; causa finita est," meaning that “Rome has spoken; the cause is finished”. Pope Boniface attained eternal rest on September 4, AD422.
-edit&transl. SM

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