Bonaventure was born at Bagnoregio (near Viterbo,
Italy), the son of John of Fidanza. Called John, he went to the
university at Paris in 1235, where he studied under Alexander of Hales.
He joined the Franciscans in 1243, taking the name Bonaventure and
progressing in his theological studies to become a master (professor) of
theology in 1254. During this period he wrote a commentary on Scripture,
the Breviloquium, and, like his contemporary, Thomas Aquinas,
worked to integrate Aristotelian insights into the Augustinian
tradition. Bonaventure accepted much of Aristotle's scientific
philosophy, but he rejected what he knew of Aristotle's metaphysics as
insufficient because Aristotle was not guided by the light of Christian
Healed from a childhood disease by the prayers of Saint Francis
Joined the Franciscan
Order of Friars Minor @ 22. Studied theology
Friend of Saint Thomas
Aquinas. Doctor of Theology.
Friend of King
General of the Franciscan
Order at 35. Bishop
of Albano. Cardinal.
Spoke at the Council of Lyons, but died before its close. Writer.
Biographer of Saint Francis.
of the Church.
"A man of eminent learning and eloquence, and of
outstanding holiness, he was known for his kindness, approachableness,
gentleness and compassion." - Pope
Gregory X on hearing of the death of Bonaventure
St. Bonaventure, known as "the
seraphic doctor," was born at Bagnorea in Tuscany, in 1221. He
received the name of Bonaventure in consequence of an exclamation of St.
Francis of Assisi, when, in response to the pleading of the child's
mother, the saint prayed for John's recovery from a dangerous illness,
and, foreseeing the future greatness of the little John, cried out
"O Buona ventura"-O good fortune!