Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.
Feast Day 14 May.
[Not to be confused with Saint Boniface,
Bishop and Martyr. Feast Day 5 June.]
English: Icon of Saint Boniface of Tarsus.
Deutsch: Ikone heilige Bonifatius aus Tarsus.
Russian: икона святого мученика Вонифатия Римского (Тарского).
Arrested at Tarsus, Boniface "bore himself with much fortitude in presence of his torturers" (Epistle). They tore his body with iron hooks, they thrust pointed reeds under his nails, and poured molten lead into his mouth.
He was beheaded at Tarsus on 14 May, towards 275 A.D., under the Emperor Galerius. His remains were brought to Rome and deposited on Mount Aventine, in the Church which took first his name and, later on, that of Saint Alexius.
[Editor: This Saint is not to be confused with Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr. Feast Day 5 June.]
In the 12th-Century, the name of Boniface was included on 14 May in The General Roman Calendar with the lowest rank of Feast ("Simple"). In 1955, Pope Pius XII reduced the Celebration to a Commemoration within The Ferial Mass (see General Roman Calendar of Pope Pius XII).
Because of the date of his Feast, Boniface of Tarsus was one of three Saints, who, because a cold spell was believed to be common on 12 May – 14 May, were called The Ice Saints, in Poland, Bohemia and Eastern Germany.
The Ice Saints.
The Ice Saints is a name given to Saint Mamertus (or, in some countries, Saint Boniface of Tarsus), Saint Pancras, and Saint Servatius in Austrian, Belgian, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, North-Italian, Polish, Slovene and Swiss folklore. They are so named because their Feast Days fall on 11 May, 12 May, and 13 May, days which are known as "the Black-Thorn Winter".
The period from 12 May to 15 May was noted to bring a brief spell of colder weather in many years, including the last nightly frosts of the Spring, in the Northern Hemisphere, under the Julian Calendar. The introduction of the Gregorian Calendar in 1582 involved skipping ten days in the Calendar, so that the equivalent days from the climatic point of view became 22 May – 25 May.