Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 15 July – St Bonaventure O.F.M. (1221-1274) – Doctor of the Church

Saint of the Day – 15 July – St Bonaventure O.F.M. (1221-1274) – Doctor of the Church – known as the “Seraphic Doctor” – Friar, Bishop, Theologian, Philosopher, Writer, Mystic, Preacher, bonaventure - gorgeous header

st bonaventure - blk and whitest bonaventure - coloured = v large

Sanctity and learning raised Bonaventure to the Church’s highest honours and from a child he was the companion of Saints.    Yet at heart he was ever the poor Franciscan friar and practised and taught humility and mortification.

St Bonaventure Enters the Franciscan Order
Francisco de Herrera the Elder 1576 – 1656
St Bonaventure Enters the Franciscan Order

St Francis gave him his name, for, having miraculously cured him of a mortal sickness, he prophetically exclaimed of the child, “O bona ventura!”-good luck.

cure of the infant bonaventure by st francis
Francisco de Herrera the Elder 1576 – 1656
The Cure of Saint Bonaventure as a Child by St Francis

He is known also as the “Seraphic Doctor,” from the fervour of divine love which breathes in his writings.   He was the friend of S. Thomas Aquinas, who asked him one day whence he drew his great learning.   He replied by pointing to his crucifix.   At another time St Thomas found him in ecstasy while writing the life of St Francis and exclaimed, “Let us leave a Saint to write of a Saint.”   They received the Doctor’s cap together.

Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Francisco de Zurbarán 1598 -1664
Saint Bonaventure and St Thomas Aquinas before the Crucifix
1629 (lost in 1945)


He was the guest and adviser of St Louis and the spiritual director of St Isabella, the king’s sister.   At the age of thirty-five in 1257 he was made general of his Order and only escaped another dignity, the Archbishopric of York, by dint of tears and entreaties. Gregory X appointed him Cardinal Bishop of Albano.

When the Saint heard of the Pope’s resolve to create him a Cardinal, he quietly made his escape from Italy.   But Gregory sent him a summons to return to Rome.   On his way, he stopped to rest himself at a convent of his Order near Florence and there two Papal messengers, sent to meet him with the Cardinal’s hat, found him washing the dishes.   The Saint desired them to hang the hat on a bush that was near and take a walk in the garden until he had finished what he was about.   Then taking up the hat with unfeigned sorrow, he joined the messengers and paid them the respect due to their character.Saint_Bonaventure receives the Cardinals hat while washing the dishes

He sat at the Pontiff’s right hand and spoke first at the Council of Lyons.   His piety and eloquence won over the Greeks to Catholic union and then his strength failed.

San Buenaventura en el concilio de Lyon
Francisco de Zurbarán 1598 -1664
Saint Bonaventure at the Council of Lyon (1274) (c.1630)

He died while the Council was sitting and was buried by the assembled bishops, on 15 July 1274.

Francisco de Zurbarán 1598 -1664
The Exposition of the Body of St Bonaventure

For more details on St Bonaventure’s life here:

st cardinal bonaventurest bonaventure - unusual - lg



Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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