Pope Boniface IX

Pope and bishop of Rome from 1389 to 1404

Pope Boniface IX (Latin: Bonifacius Nonus; 1350 – 1 October 1404), born Piero Tomacelli, was an Italian cleric of the Roman Catholic Church and the 204th Pope from 1389 until his death in 1404.[1]

Boniface IX
Papacy began2 November 1389
Papacy ended1 October 1404
PredecessorPope Urban VI
SuccessorPope Innocent VII
Personal details
Birth namePiero Tomacelli
Died(1404-10-01)October 1, 1404
Other popes named Boniface

Early life


Piero Tomacelli was born into the baronial family of Casarano in the Kingdom of Naples.[2]



In 1381, Pope Urban VI raised Tomacelli to the rank of cardinal.[3]

Cardinal Tomacelli was elected pope in 1389;[4] and he chose to be called Boniface IX.[5]

Pope Boniface was involved in Italian and European political disputes.[2]

Papal actions

  • 1391 – University of Ferrara established[6]
  • 1392 – University of Efurt confirmed[2]
  • 1396 – Jubilee celebrated at Rome[2]
  • 1398 – University of Fermo established[2]

Boniface canonized St. Birgitta of Sweden.[7]

Western Schism


Boniface IX was pope during the years of the Western Schism, which was a split between factions of the Roman Catholic Church between 1378 and 1417.[8]

During this period, there was more than one who claimed to be the true pope.[8]

Popes of the Western Schism
Antipope John XXIIIAntipope John XXIIIAntipope Alexander VPope Gregory XIIPope Innocent VIIPope Innocent VIIPope Boniface IXPope Urban VIAvignon Pope Benedict XIIIAvignon Pope Clement VIIPope Martin VPope Gregory XI


The Coat of Arms of Boniface IX
  1. "List of Popes," Catholic Encyclopedia (2009); retrieved 2011-11-29.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Pope Boniface IX", Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-29.
  3. Montor, Artaud de (1911). The lives and times of the Popes. [Vol. 8]. Catholic Publication Society of America. p. 85.
  4. Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. C. Knight. 1836. p. 154.
  5. Note on ordinal numbering: Popes Boniface VIII–IX are really the 7th and 8th popes with that name. This is because Boniface VII is now parsed as an antipope; but during the reign of Boniface VIII, this was not recognized. The "true" or actual eighth pope Boniface identified himself with the ordinal number IX. In other words, the numbering of popes after the 7th Boniface needs to be explained -- compare Popes Benedict XI–XVI.
  6. Motor, p. 87.
  7. Chisholm, Hugh (1910). The Encyclopedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information. Encyclopedia Britannica Company. p. 207.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Western Schism," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-29.

Other websites


  Media related to Bonifacius IX at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Urban VI
Succeeded by
Innocent VII