Succeeded Boniface III 607 and consecrated pope 15 September 608 after ten months of the see being vacant, awaiting the emperor’s approval. Born at Veleria, in Marsica, and son of a doctor, John, he ruled the Roman see and the universal church in difficult times hunger, plagues, floods, barbarian violence, sustaining them with charitable works and assistance. Boniface asked and obtained from Phocas the conversion of the Roman Pantheon into a church, consecrated to Mary Most Holy, Ever-Virgin and All Martyrs on 13 May 609 or 610; the emperor sent splendid gifts to Rome for the occasion. The pope also turned his own house into a monastery and greatly favored church construction in the Urbe.

Boniface kept the church of England close to his heart, which was recently evangelized by the monk and missionary Augustine of Canterbury, sent by Gregory I; the first bishop of London, Mellitus, participated at the Roman synod of 610. The last echoes of the schism of the Three Chapters, not yet resolved at Milan and Aquileia, took place during this pontificate. The Longobard Lombard king Agilulf urged Columbanus, the monk of Bobbio, to intervene in the dispute; the latter wrote Boniface a letter, inviting his attention and urging more caution than, in Columbanus’s opinion, Boniface’s predecessor Vigilius had used. We have two letters from this pope, both dated August 613. One is addressed to the Frankish king Theodoric II, the other to Florian, bishop of Arles; both concern the bestowal of the honor of the pallium on the prelate. Boniface died 8 May 615 and was buried in St. Peter’s basilica. CPL 1724; MGH, Ep. 3, 453-456; Mansi 10, 503-508; PL 80, 104- 106 letters of Boniface; C. Silva-Tarouca, Nuovi studi sulle antiche lettere dei papi: Gregorianum 12 1931 47; H. Ashworth, Did St. Gregory the Great Compose a Sacramentary?, SP 2, Berlin 1957, 3-16 Boniface possible author of liturgical prayers; LP I, 318; DHGE 9, 898-899; DBI 12, 1970, 136-140 P. Bertolini; Jaff I, 220-222; S. D’Amato, De civitate Valeria. Papa S. Bonifacio IV: Bull. della Dep. abruzzese di storia patria 79 1989 121-196; F. Michetti, S. Bonifacio IV e il suo pontificato, Avezzano 1992; P.T.R. Gray – M.W. Herren, Colombanus and the Three Chapters Controversy: JTS 45 1994 160-170; LTK 2, 579 H. Zimmermann; EPapi I, 579-581 P. Bertolini.

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