St. Bonaventure, known as "the seraphic doctor," was born at Bagnoregio, in the Lazio region of central Italy, 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! At the age of twenty-two St. Bonaventure entered the Franciscan Order. Having made his vows, he was sent to Paris to complete his studies under the celebrated doctor Alexander of Hales, an Englishman and a Franciscan. After the latter's death he continued his course under his successor, John of Rochelle. In Paris he became the intimate friend of the great St. Thomas Aquinas. He received the degree of Doctor, together with St. Thomas Aquinas, ceding to his friend against the latter's inclination, the honor of having it first conferred upon him. Like St. Thomas Aquinas, he enjoyed the friendship of the holy King, St. Louis. At the age of thirty-five he was chosen General of his Order and restored a perfect calm where peace had been disturbed by internal dissensions. He did much for his Order and composed The life of St. Francis. He also assisted in the translation of the relics of St. Anthony of Padua. He died while he was assisting at the Second Council of Lyons, on July 15, 1274.
Dear St. Bonaventure Cardinal,
Bishop and Doctor of the Church, you chose a life that embraced mortification and great humiliation. Choosing to serve those individuals who were rejected and sick you risked illness for yourself. You made your life a continuous prayer and spent hours meditating on the wounds of Christ. Please pray for us that we may have a sincere and humble heart. Pray that we may not lose sight of Jesus’ wounds and thus walk on the straight path to eternal salvation. May we take a great many souls with us to Our Heavenly Father. St. Bonaventure you were known to say “One should carefully beware of decreasing, even in the slightest, the honor that is due to Mary.” May we strive as you did to Love our Blessed Mother and be carriers of her peace in this world. Amen