By Ian Wilson (Rated G)
Many may know Saint Bonaventure’s name, but few know his story. This pious Franciscan monk was born in 1221 in Bagnoregio, Italy. He was initially baptized as John, but changed his name to Bonaventure when he joined the Franciscans. During a bout of severe illness in his youth, Bonaventure’s mother asked for the intercession of the recently canonized Saint Francis of Assisi. Through her prayers, the young Bonaventure was healed. From then on, Bonaventure was dedicated to service to God and his church.
Bonaventure captured many hearts and minds as a professor at the University of Paris, through his heart for our Savior and his brilliant mind. However, after the friars elected him as their general minister, Bonaventure’s illustrious teaching career came to an end. The Franciscan order at the time was embroiled in many conflicts, both in administration and in doctrine. There were even some friars who preached a form of ecstatic unitarianism, teaching that the Holy Spirit would replace Christ, the church and the Scripture.
Bonaventure managed to bring order to the friars, through his mystic insight and skills as an organizer. After single-handedly saving the Franciscan order from total collapse, Bonaventure was appointed Bishop of Albano. Tragically, before he had even served a year in that office, Bonaventure went to his heavenly repose on July 15, 1274. Some believe he may have been murdered.
May we bring order and organization to our own thoughts and lives as Bonaventure did.