Giovanni Di Fidanza was born in 1217 in present day Italy. He was very ill as a young boy and he stated that he was saved from death by the intersession of St Francis of Assisi. It is not known when or why he became knowns as Bonaventure. He entered the Order of Friars Minor in around 1238.
He completed his studies at the university of Paris under the founder of the Franciscan school. He received his “licentiate” in 1248 which gave him the right to teach the “Magister regens”. He continued teaching and studying and is famed for being able to reconcile diverse traditions in theology and philosophy. He is considered a great scholar and assisted at Pope Gregory X’s Fourteenth Oecumenical Council in 1274. He worked with the Greeks and brought about their union. He died on Sunday 15 July 1274 during the Oecumenical Council. His contribution to Catholic theology is vast and he is known as one of the principles Doctors of the Church, this title given to him by Pope Sixtus V in 1557. He had been canonised by Pope Sixtus IV in 1482.
Dear Lord, as we reflect on St Bonaventure’s life,
teach us to try and work towards reconciliation wherever we can.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord.