14 July: Blessed Boniface of Savoy (+1270)

[English – Español]

Blessed Boniface is usually included among the Carthusian Saints, although his ties to the Order are rather questionable. He belonged to the princely House of Savoy, and in point of fact his tomb is among the ‘royal tombs’ of that House at the abbey of Hautecombe in Savoy, France.

His parents were Thomas I of Savoy and Marguerite of Geneva. He is believed to have been for some time a Carthusian novice at the Grande Chartreuse. But not for long! Because of his reputation and capabilities he had to leave the peace of the novitiate to become Bishop of Belley (France) in 1234. He left the Mother house “in tears”.

In 1239, he also received the administration of the bishopric of Valence (France) on the death of his brother William. Finally, Queen Eleanor of England, wife of Henry III and Boniface’s close relative obtained that he be named Archbishop of Canterbury in 1241. He remained there for about twenty-five years. During a visit to his native Savoy, he died at the castle of Sainte-Hélène-sur-Isère on 14 July 1270.

In 1838 the family of the princely House obtained from Gregory XVI the recognition of his reputation for holiness, because of the miracles that took place after his death. In 1839, a new decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites established the Office and Mass of the Blessed, with its own prayer. Finally, in 1858 his commemoration was included in the Carthusian Calendar.

Prayer: Lord, You saw fit to make Boniface an example of pastoral zeal and love. With his help, may we in our solitude contribute towards the salvation of souls. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

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