St. Bonaventura (c.1218-1274), Doctor of the Church, Cardinal-Bishop of Albano, Minister General of the Friars Minor.
Bonaventura was born at Bagnorea in the vicinity of Viterbo into the family of a physician of noble birth. No details of Bonaventure's youth are known. He became a Franciscan in 1238 or 1243, and was soon sent to Paris to study under Alexander of Hales, the great founder of the Franciscan School. He received his license to teach in 1248 and in 1253 he became Master of the Franciscan school at Paris.
On 23 October, 1267 Bonaventura received the degree of Doctor. It was solemnly bestowed on him and St. Thomas Aquinas at the university of Paris.
On 2 February, 1257 Bonaventura was elected Minister General of the Friars Minor. On the post he did so much for the Order that he is considered its second founder.
In 1273 he was nominated cardinal-bishop of Albano.
The Franciscan Order has always regarded Bonaventura as one of the greatest Doctors and from the beginning his teaching found many distinguished expositors within the order, among the earliest being his own pupils, John Peckham later Archbishop of Canterbury, Matthew of Aquasparta, and Alexander of Alexandria (d. 1314), both of whom became Ministers General of the Order. Unfortunately not all of Bonaventure's writings have come down to us. Some were lost before the invention of printing.
He was canonized by Sixtus IV in 1482 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1588.
Feast day: 15 July.
See: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo St. Leander and St. Bonaventura.
Francisco de Zurbarán The Death of St. Bonaventura, St. Bonaventura at Pray, St. Bonaventura at the Council of Lyons.
The Book of Saints: The Lives of the Saints According to the Liturgical Calendar by George Angelini, Victor Hoagland (Editor). Regina Press, Malhame & Company, 1986.
Bonaventure: The Soul's Journey into God, the Tree of Life, the Life of St. Francis (The Classics of Western Spirituality) by Ewert Cousins (Editor), Bonaventure. Paulist Press, 1988.
Francis & Bonaventure (Triumph Christian Thinkers) by Paul Rout, Peter Vardy (Editor). Liguori Publications, 1997.