St. Bonaventure (1217-1274)

Late Medieval Era


The following information is from

St. Bonaventura, a native of Tuscany, was born Giovanni di Fidanza in 1221. He entered the Franciscan order about 1242 and in the short space of fifteen years rose to be seventh general of that order. Professor of theology at the University of Paris, Bishop of Albano, and created a cardinal by Gregory X shortly before his death in 1274, he was widely venerated during his lifetime and is mentioned as a saint in Dante’s Paradiso. He was canonized in 1482 by Sixtus IV and a little over a century later declared a doctor of the church by Sixtus V. He has usually been known as the Seraphic Donor, probably because of his mysticism and constant preoccupation with the vision of the Seraph which is described in the Prologue to “The Mind’s Road to God.” In addition to this little treatise, his major works are the “Reductio Artium in Theologiam” (“Reduction of the Arts to Theology”), the “Biblia Pauperum” (“Bible of the Poor”), and the “Breviloquium.”

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One thought on “St. Bonaventure (1217-1274)

  1. Quote by St. Bonaventure:

    “When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard more than that proceeding from the mouth.”

    “Since happiness is nothing but the enjoyment of the Supreme Good, and since the Supreme Good is above us, we cannot be happy unless we rise beyond ourselves. Since we cannot reach above ourselves in our own strength, we must be helped by supernatural strength, lifted up by a higher power that stoops to raise us. However much we structure our inner lives and make progress, it does us no good unless our efforts are accompanied by help from on high. Divine aid is available for those who seek it with a devout and humble heart; this is done by fervent prayer.

    Prayer is, therefore, the source and origin of every upward journey toward God. Let us each, then, turn to prayer and say to our Lord God: ‘Lead me, O Lord, on your path, that I may walk in your truth.”