St. Bonaventure was born in Bagnorea in Tuscany in 1221. He was named John. His mother pleaded with St. Francis of Assisi for his recovery from a dangerous illness. Foreseeing the greatness of the child, Francis cried “O buona ventura”–O good fortune–and his name was changed to Bonaventure. He entered the Franciscan Order at age 22. After making his vows, he was sent to Paris to complete his studies. In Paris he and the great St. Thomas Aquinas became great friends. Both received their Doctorate. King St. Louis was also a great friend of his. He was chosen General of his Order at age 35. Much internal dissension affected the Order and Bonaventure restored perfect calm. He did much for his Order by composing the life of St. Francis, helping at the translation of the relics of St. Anthony of Padua. Pope Clement IV nominated him Archbishop of York, but he begged not to be forced to accept this honor. Gregory X made him Cardinal and Bishop Albano, a greater dignity. He abdicated the office of General of the Franciscan Order before his death on July 15, 1274 while at the Second Council of Lyons. He was known as “The Seraphic Doctor”.
FEAST DAY: July 15
PATRON OF: Bowel disorders