Saint Bonaventure was the Cardinal Bishop of Albano and also known as “the Seraphic Doctor”. He was born with the name Giovanni di Fidanza in 1221 in Bagnoregio in the Province of Viterbo, Lazio, Italy, and died on July 15 1274 in Lyon in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France. His feast day is celebrated on July 15 every year in the Catholic Church.
|Saint Bonaventure Biography|
|Date of Birth||1221|
|Place of Birth||Bagnoregio in the Province of Viterbo, Lazio, Italy|
|Profession||Bishop and Doctor of the Church|
|Place of Work||Italy|
|Date of Death||July 15 1274|
|Place of Death||Lyon in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France|
|Feast Day||July 15|
|Canonization||By Pope Sixtus IV on April 14 1482 in Rome|
|Patron Saint of||
Saint Bonaventure Life History
Saint Bonaventure was born in 1221 in Bagnoregio, in the Province of Viterbo, Lazio region, Italy. His father’s name was Giovanni di Fidanza and mother’s name was Maria di Ritella. His name at birth was Giovanni di Fidanza.
When he was young he suffered from a dangerous illness and his mother pleaded with St Francis of Assisi to pray for his recovery. St Francis of Assisi prayed for him and in the process, he exclaimed, “O Buona ventura” (in English – O Bonaventure) meaning ‘O good fortune!’. This is how he acquired his new name, Bonaventure.
He joined the Franciscan Order in 1243 and was sent to study at the University of Paris under Alexander of Hales, a Franciscan and an Englishman. After the death of Alexander of Hales, he studied under John of Rochelle.
While in Paris Bonaventure met St Thomas Aquinas and they became great friends. They graduated together with the degree of Doctor of Theology.
He defended the Franciscan order against the reproaches of the anti-mendicant party and consequently, he was elected Minister General of the Franciscan Order. Pope Clement IV selected him for the post of Archbishop of York on November 24 1265 but he later resigned in October 1266 claiming he was inadequate to the office.
St Bonaventure helped Pope Gregory X a lot during his election as a pope and as a reward, the pope gave him the title of Cardinal Bishop of Albano and invited him to be present during the Second Council of Lyon in 1274.
After his significant contributions during the Second Council of Lyon, there emerged a resolution that enabled the Greek and Latin churches to unite. During this event, Bonaventure suddenly died under suspicious circumstances. There are theories that suggest he was poisoned.
St Bonaventure propelled the Franciscan Order through an intellectual course that made them one of the most prominent orders in the Catholic Church. He attempted to integrate faith and reason and insisted that Christ who is the true master offers us, humans, the knowledge that begins in faith, then developed through rational understanding, and made perfect by God.
St Bonaventure wrote the biography of St Francis of Assisi and also assisted in the translation of the relics of St Anthony of Padua on April 8 1263, when he was Minister General of the Franciscans. During this process, Saint Anthony of Padua’s tongue was found incorrupt.
St Bonaventure was canonized by the Franciscan Pope Sixtus IV on April 14 1482. In 1587, Pope Sixtus V ranked St Bonaventure and St Thomas Aquinas as the greatest of the Doctors of the Church.
During the Middle Ages, St Bonaventure was regarded as one of the greatest philosophers. His works consist of a Commentary on the Sentences of Lombard which includes the famous Commentary on the Gospel of St Luke.
The other famous commentaries are
- The Mind’s Road to God (Itinerarium mentis in Deum),
- Outline of his theology or Brief Reading (Breviloquium),
- Reduction of the Arts to Theology (De reductione artium ad theologiam),
- Soliloquy on the Four Spiritual Exercises (Soliloquium de quatuor mentalibus exercitiis)
- The Tree of Life (Lignum vitae)
- The Triple Way (De Triplici via)
St Bonaventure wrote mostly about faith in Christ, God and theology and agreed on many things with St Thomas Aquinas. He tackles the relationship between reason and faith. He says that science originates from theology and therefore, reason can only discover some truths but to discover others you need divine illumination.
He adds that for the soul to obtain this divine illumination, it must use the proper means of prayer, exercising the virtues of God, and meditation in union with God.
St Bonaventure wrote that all created reality comes from God and God speaks to us and makes himself known through these created things.
Saint Bonaventure Birth
Saint Bonaventure was a Bishop and Doctor of the Church born with the name Giovanni di Fidanza in 1221 in Bagnoregio in the Province of Viterbo, Lazio, Italy
Saint Bonaventure Death
He died while he was assisting at the Second Council of Lyon, on July 15 1274 in Lyon in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France
Bonaventure’s arm and hand, which he wrote his Commentary on the Sentences, is conserved as a relic at St Nicholas Cathedral in Bagnoregio.
Saint Bonaventure Feast Day
His feast day is celebrated on July 15 every year in the Catholic Church and the Church of England.
Saint Bonaventure is the Patron Saint of
- Saint Bonaventure University, New York
- Cochiti Indian Pueblo
- Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Bagnoregio, Italy
- Against intestinal problems
Places, Churches, and Schools Named in His Honour
- St Bonaventure University in Allegany, New York
- St Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit, Michigan
- St Bonaventure High School in Ventura, California, United States
- St Bonaventure Catholic Parish in Huntington Beach, California
- St Bonaventure Catholic Church, elementary school, and cemetery, Columbus, Nebraska
- St Bonaventure Catholic Church in Paterson, New Jersey
- St Bonaventure Catholic Church in Glenshaw, Pennsylvania
- St Bonaventure Catholic Church in Davie, Florida
- St Bonaventure Catholic Church in Chicago, Illinois
- St Bonaventure Catholic Church in Allegany, New York
- St Bonaventure – St. Benedict the Moor, Catholic Church in Jamaica, New York
- San Buenaventura de los Tres Arrollos in Custer County, Colorado
- San Buenaventura de Cochiti in Pueblo de Cochiti, New Mexico
- Mission San Buenaventura and the City of Ventura, California
- Buenaventura Boulevard in Redding, California
- Bonaventure Residence Hall, in Viterbo University, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States
- Bonaventure Hall, in Sacred Heart Parish Catholic School, in Patterson, California, United States
- Bonaventure Condominiums in Palm Harbor, Florida
- St Bonaventure’s Catholic School, in Forest Gate, London, England
- St Bonaventure’s Catholic Church, in Welwyn Garden City, England
- St Bonaventure’s Catholic Church, and Primary School in Bristol, England
- St. Bonaventure’s Church in Erangal near Mumbai
- St Bonaventure’s High School in Hyderabad, Pakistan
- St Bonaventure Parish, Mauban, Quezon, Philippines
- St Bonaventure Parish, Balangkayan, Eastern Samar, Philippines
- St Bonaventure chapel in St John the Baptist Parish, Liliw, Laguna, Philippines
- St Bonaventure Chapel in Barangay San Bueno, Sampaloc, Quezon, Philippines
- St Bonaventure Chapel in Barangay San Buenaventura, Luisiana, Laguna, Philippines
- San Buenaventura barangay in Buhi Municipality, Camarines Sur, Philippines
- The Municipality of Buenaventura in Colombia
- The city of San Buenaventura in Chihuahua, Mexico
- The city of San Buenaventura in Coahuila, Mexico
- The city of San Buenaventura in the state of Mexico, Mexico
- Bonaventura College in Leiden, Netherlands
- The town of Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada
- St Bonaventure’s College in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
- St Bonaventure School, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- St Bonaventure Parish, Tracadie Cross, in Prince Edward Island, Canada
- St Bonaventure Parish, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- St Bonaventure Catholic School, at Edwards Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Lake Bonaventure, in the community of Lake Bonavista, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- Bonaventure River in the Gaspé Peninsula Region of Quebec, Canada
- Bonaventure Metro Station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- Bonaventure Island in the Gaspé Peninsula Region of Quebec, Canada
- Bonaventure Highway in Quebec, Canada
Today’s Catholic Quote
”The fear of God,” says St. Bonaventure, “forbids a man to give his heart to transitory things, which are the true seeds of sin.”
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