The Jubilee Bull of Boniface VIII - Antiquorum Habet Fida Relatio

Rome (Italy) — 1300

The Jubilee Bull of Boniface VIII - Antiquorum Habet Fida Relatio

The Jubilee Bull of Boniface VIII - Antiquorum Habet Fida Relatio

Alternative Titles:
  • Bolla di Bonifacio VIII
  • Jubiläumsbulle von Bonifazius VIII. - Antiquorum Habet Fida Relatio
The Jubilee Bull of Boniface VIII - Antiquorum Habet Fida Relatio – Caps. I, fasc. 1, n. 8 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Pope Boniface VIII (ca. 1230-1303) declared the year 1300 to be the first Christian jubilee year with a papal bull titled Antiquorum Habet Fida Relatio. In doing so, he recalled a tradition described in the Book of Leviticus, which declared that every fiftieth year would be marked by the freeing of slaves and prisoners, the forgiveness of debts and sins, and that this would cause God’s mercy to be particularly manifest. Inspired by the offer of plenary indulgences, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims made their way to the holy city of Rome and thus began a Catholic tradition that continues to this day.

The Jubilee Bull of Boniface VIII - Antiquorum Habet Fida Relatio

Pope Boniface VIII (ca. 1230-1303) was one of the most controversial men to sit on the Throne of St. Peter. He asserted both the spiritual and temporal supremacy of the papacy over the kings of Europe at a time when they in turn were asserting increasingly centralized, national rule in their respective realms. He was resented by Dante Alighieri (ca. 1265-1321), who placed Boniface in the Eighth Circle of Hell with the rest of the simoniacs in his Divine Comedy for his constant schemes to increase papal incomes, and for debasing the papacy through his involvement in worldly politics. This was also a primary issue in Boniface’s ongoing conflict with King Philip IV of France (1268-1314), which eventually led to the Pope’s death after being seized by French forces with the aid of the powerful Giacomo Colonna (1270-1329). Boniface is remembered more positively for proclaiming the year 1300 to be the first Christian “jubilee” year in the papal bull titled Antiquorum Habet Fida Relatio, beginning a popular Catholic tradition. Although his bull did not specifically use the word jubilee, chroniclers in Rome and across Europe described the year 1300 as annus jubileus. The pilgrims who came to Rome in unprecedented numbers filled the papal coffers as well, which some speculate was the Boniface’s true aim.

The First Christian Jubilee

Boniface personally authored the bull, which he published on February 22nd, 1300. In it, he offered the complete pardon of all sins for those who made the pilgrimage to Rome, visited St. Peter’s Basilica or the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls at least once per day for a certain period (30 days for Romans, 15 for foreigners), and confessed their sins. The event was of such magnitude that it was also mentioned by Dante in his Divine Comedy. The jubilee tradition is rooted in the Book of Leviticus, which declared that every fiftieth year would be marked by the freeing of slaves and prisoners, the forgiveness of debts and sins, and that this would cause God’s mercy to be particularly manifest. Although the Pope may have declared it to attract pilgrims to Rome to substitute the income that was being denied him by the King of France, it proved to be very popular, attracting ca. 200,000 pilgrims and inspiring successive jubilees that have continued to this day. Boniface and his counsellors are said to have managed the affair well, providing plentiful food at moderate prices to feed the crowds, which sometimes numbered 30,000 in a single day.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Bolla di Bonifacio VIII
Jubiläumsbulle von Bonifazius VIII. - Antiquorum Habet Fida Relatio
Date
1300
Style
Gothic
Language
Latin
Content
Announcement of first jubilee of Christianity; it features the papal seal and silk filaments

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „The Jubilee Bull of Boniface VIII - Antiquorum Habet Fida Relatio“

La Bolla di Bonifacio VIII
The Jubilee Bull of Boniface VIII - Antiquorum Habet Fida Relatio – Caps. I, fasc. 1, n. 8 – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
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La Bolla di Bonifacio VIII

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana - Treccani – Rome, 2016
Limited Edition
599 copies in Arabic numbers and 59 copies in Roman numbers
Binding
The facsimile comes in a setalux clamshell case with gold tooling. The document is hand-folded according to the original folding traces and it features a faithful lead replica of the papal seal.
Commentary
1 volume by Isabella Aurora
Language: Italian
More Information
The facsimile edition is provided with a commentary featuring the complete text of the bull in Latin and translated into several languages.
Details
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Edition available
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