Boniface IV was a doctor’s son from L’Aquila, in the Abruzzi region of Italy. He rose through the ranks of the Church to become a deacon and treasurer to St. Gregory the Great. Boniface was elected pope in late 607 but was not enthroned until September, 608, when his election was confirmed by Emperor Phocas.

Phocas gave the Pantheon in Rome to Boniface to convert into a Christian church, and on 13 May 609, the temple erected by Agrippa to Jupiter the Avenger, Venus, and Mars was consecrated by the pope to the Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs. It was the first instance in Rome of the transformation of a pagan temple into a place of Christian worship. Twenty-eight cartloads of sacred bones were said to have been removed from the Catacombs and placed in a porphyry basin beneath the high altar.

In 610, 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 then being held 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 Ethelbert of Kent, and to all the Anglo-Saxons.

Between 612 and 615, the Irish missionary Columbanus, then living at Bobbio in Italy, was persuaded by King Agilulf of Lombardy to address a letter to Boniface IV. He told the pope that he was suspected of heresy for accepting the Fifth Ecumenical Council and exhorted him to summon a council and prove his orthodoxy. There is no record of an answer from Boniface.

Inspired by Gregory the Great, Boniface IV converted his house into a monastery, where he retired and died on 8 May.

Adapted by A.J. Valentini from: Online, C. (n.d.). St. Boniface IV – Saints & Angels. Catholic Online. Retrieved April 28, 2021, from