Saint Bonaventure
Francisco de Zurbarán - The Prayer of St. Bonaventura about the Selection of the New Pope - Google Art Project.jpg
Friar, Bishop, Doctor of the Church
Born 1221
Bagnoregio, Province of Viterbo, Latium, Papal States
Died 15 July 1274 (aged 52–53)
Lyon, Lyonnais, Kingdom of Arles
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Canonized 14 April 1482, Rome by Pope Sixtus IV
Feast 15 July
2nd Sunday in July (1482–1568)
14 July (1568–1969)
Attributes Cardinal's hat on a bush; ciborium; Holy Communion; cardinal in Franciscan robes, usually reading or writing
François, Claude (dit Frère Luc) - Saint Bonaventure.jpg
Born 1221
Bagnoregio, Province of Viterbo, Latium, Papal States
Died 15 July 1274
Lyon, Lyonnais, Kingdom of Arles
Other names "Giovanni di Fidanza" ("John of Fidanza"), "Doctor Seraphicus" ("Seraphic Doctor")
Alma mater University of Paris
Era Medieval philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Scholasticism
Medieval realism
Institutions University of Paris

Saint Bonaventure ( n-/; Italian: Bonaventura [bɔnavenˈtura]; 1221 – 15 July 1274), [2] born Giovanni di Fidanza, was an Italian medieval Franciscan, scholastic theologian and philosopher. The seventh Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, he was also Cardinal Bishop of Albano. He was canonised on 14 April 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV and declared a Doctor of the Church in the year 1588 by Pope Sixtus V. He is known as the "Seraphic Doctor" ( Latin: Doctor Seraphicus). Many writings believed in the Middle Ages to be his are now collected under the name Pseudo-Bonaventure.


He was born at Bagnorea in Umbria, not far from Viterbo, then part of the Papal States. Almost nothing is known of his childhood, other than the names of his parents, Giovanni di Fidanza and Maria di Ritella. [3] [4]

He entered the Franciscan Order in 1243 and studied at the University of Paris, possibly under Alexander of Hales, and certainly under Alexander's successor, John of Rochelle. [5] In 1253 he held the Franciscan chair at Paris. A dispute between seculars and mendicants delayed his reception as Master until 1257, where his degree was taken in company with Thomas Aquinas. [6] Three years earlier his fame had earned him the position of lecturer on The Four Books of Sentences—a book of theology written by Peter Lombard in the twelfth century—and in 1255 he received the degree of master, the medieval equivalent of doctor. [5]

After having successfully defended his order against the reproaches of the anti- mendicant party, he was elected Minister General of the Franciscan Order. On 24 November 1265, he was selected for the post of Archbishop of York; however, he was never consecrated and resigned the appointment in October 1266. [7]

During his tenure, the General Chapter of Narbonne, held in 1260, promulgated a decree prohibiting the publication of any work out of the order without permission from the higher superiors. This prohibition has induced modern writers to pass severe judgment upon Roger Bacon's superiors being envious of Bacon's abilities. However, the prohibition enjoined on Bacon was a general one, which extended to the whole order. Its promulgation was not directed against him, but rather against Gerard of Borgo San Donnino. Gerard had published in 1254 without permission a heretical work, Introductorius in Evangelium æternum (An Introduction to the Eternal Gospel). Thereupon the General Chapter of Narbonne promulgated the above-mentioned decree, identical with the "constitutio gravis in contrarium" Bacon speaks of. The above-mentioned prohibition was rescinded in Roger's favour unexpectedly in 1266. [8]

Bonaventure's coat of arms of Cardinal Bishop of Albano

Bonaventure was instrumental in procuring the election of Pope Gregory X, who rewarded him with the title of Cardinal Bishop of Albano, and insisted on his presence at the great Second Council of Lyon in 1274. [5] There, after his significant contributions led to a union of the Greek and Latin churches, Bonaventure died suddenly and in suspicious circumstances. The 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia has citations that suggest he was poisoned, but no mention is made of this in the 2003 second edition of the New Catholic Encyclopedia. The only extant relic of the saint is the arm and hand with which he wrote his Commentary on the Sentences, which is now conserved at Bagnoregio, in the parish church of St. Nicholas. [9]

He steered the Franciscans on a moderate and intellectual course that made them the most prominent order in the Catholic Church until the coming of the Jesuits. His theology was marked by an attempt completely to integrate faith and reason. He thought of Christ as the "one true master" who offers humans knowledge that begins in faith, is developed through rational understanding, and is perfected by mystical union with God. [10]

Other Languages
العربية: بونافنتورا
български: Бонавентура
Boarisch: Bonaventura
Deutsch: Bonaventura
Esperanto: Bonaventura
Gaeilge: Bonaventure
한국어: 보나벤투라
Հայերեն: Բոնավենտուրա
Bahasa Indonesia: Bonaventura
қазақша: Бонавентура
latviešu: Bonaventura
lietuvių: Bonaventūras
മലയാളം: ബൊനവന്തുരാ
Nederlands: Bonaventura
português: Boaventura
română: Bonaventura
русский: Бонавентура
Simple English: Bonaventure
slovenčina: Bonaventura
slovenščina: Sveti Bonaventura
српски / srpski: Бонавентура
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Bonaventura
svenska: Bonaventura
Türkçe: Bonaventura
українська: Бонавентура
中文: 聖文德