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From The Lives of the Popes from the Time of our Saviour Jesus Christ to the Accession of Gregory VII. Written Originally in Latin by B. Platina, Native of Cremona, and translated into English (from an anonymous translation, first printed in 1685 by Sir Paul Rycaut), Edited by William Benham, Volume I, London: Griffith, Farran, Okeden & Welsh, [1888, undated in text]; pp. 99-101.

The Lives of the Popes,
B. Platina

Volume I.

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A.D. 419-422.

BONIFACE, a Roman, son of Jucundus, a presbyter, was made bishop in the time of Honorius.

At this time a great dissension arose among the clergy, for though Boniface was chosen bishop in one church of the city by one party, yet Eulalius was elected and set up against him by a contrary faction in another. This, when Honorius, who was now at Milan, came to understand, at the solicitation of his sister Placidia, and her son Valentinian, they were both banished the city. But about seven months after Boniface was recalled, and confirmed in the pontifical dignity.

In the meantime, Athaulphus dying, Vallias was made king of the Goths, who, being terrified by the judgments inflicted on his people, restored Placidia, whom he had always used very honourably, to her brother Honorius, and entered into a league with him, giving very good hostages for the confirmation 100 of it; as did also the Alanes, Vandals, and Suevians. This Placidia Honorius gave in marriage to Constantius, whom he had declared Cæsar, who had by her a son named Valentinian; but she being afterwards banished by her brother, went into the East with her sons Honorius and Valentinian.

Our Boniface ordained that no woman, though a nun, should touch the consecrated pall or incense: and that no servant or debtor should be admitted into the clergy. Moreover, he built an oratory upon the ground where St Felicitas the martyr was buried, and very much adorned her tomb. During his pontificate flourished divers famous men, especially Hierom, a presbyter, son of Eusebius, born at a town called Stridon, seated in the confines of Dalmatia and Hungaria, but demolished by the Goths. It is not to my purpose to rehearse how great benefit the Church of God reaped from his life and writings, since he is known to have been a person of extraordinary sanctity, and his works are had in so great honour and esteem, that no author is more read by learned men than he. He died at Bethlehem on the last day of September in the ninety-first year of his age. Besides him there were also Gelasius, successor to Euzoius in the bishopric of Cæsarea Palestinæ, a man of excellent parts; Dexter, son of Pacianus, who compiled an history inscribed to St Hierom; Amphilochius, who wrote concerning the Holy Ghost in an elegant style; and Sophronius, commended by St Hierom for his learned book of the “Destruction of Serapis.” It is said also that at this time Lucianus, a presbyter, directed by a divine revelation, found out the sepulchres of St Stephen the protomartyr, and Gamaliel, St Paul’s master, of which he gave an account to all the churches by an epistle in Greek, which was afterwards translated into Latin by Abundus, a Spaniard, and sent to Orosius. Some likewise tell us that John Cassianus and Maximine, two very learned men, lived in this age; but though it be doubtful of them, it is not so concerning Eutropius, St Austin’s scholar, who, in a handsome style, epitomized the Roman history, from the building of the city to his own times; and who, moreover, wrote to his two sisters, recluses, concerning chastity, and the love of religion; to whom we may add Juvenal, the Bishop of Constantinople, and Heros, a disciple of St Martin, the wrongfully deposed Bishop of Arles, both men of great reputation for sanctity. As for 101 Boniface himself, having at one ordination made thirteen presbyters, three deacons, thirty-six bishops, he died October 25th, and was buried in the Via Salaria, near the body of St Felicitas the martyr. He sat in the chair three years, eight months, seven days. Boniface being dead, some of the clergy recalled Eulalius, but he either, through indignation at his former repulse, or from contempt of worldly greatness, disdained the revocation, and died the year following. The see was then vacant nine days.

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Previous Pope:  43. Zosimus. 44. Bonifacius I. Next Pope: 24. Cœlestinus I.

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