O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Another Penitent For You

Icon of St. Boniface of Rome

I've written about penitents before. They are my favorite saints. They are female saints who were neither virgins nor married, in other words, whores who converted. Those I've already covered are: St. Theodora of Alexandria, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Mary of Egypt, St. Pelagia of Antioch, and St. Margaret of Cortona.

Today in the Byzantine Rite we celebrate St. Boniface, martyr. The Latin Rite celebrates him on May 14. He was a slave who was also the lover of his mistress, Aglaida (Aglae for short). They lived in debauchery together (they were "cohabitating" to use a modern term) at Rome. They both got tired of their way of life (in modern terms, the "magic" ran out of their relationship). They looked to Christianity as a way to add meaning to their life. Aglae sent Boniface out to Tarsus to fetch the relics of martyrs. Upon seeing many Christians willingly dying for the Faith after his arrival, he openly declared himself to be a Christian and was martyred, being baptized in his own blood. Upon receiving the remains of St. Boniface as her requested relics, Aglae was promptly baptized and lived the rest of her life as a nun, a total of 18 years, having given her wealth to build a church in his honor, the Basilica dei Santi Bonifacio e Alessio, and the rest going to the poor. The Eastern Churches celebrate St. Aglaida of Rome together with St. Boniface, whereas the Latin Rite doesn't have her on the calendar at all.

Sts. Boniface and Aglaida bored of their life of sin.