St. Bonaventure

Born in the Italian town of Bagnoregio in 1217, Bonaventure’s life became entwined with St. Francis of Assisi when he was gravely ill as a small child. Bonaventure’s mother pleaded insistently for St. Francis’ intercession to save her son. Years after his miraculous recovery, Bonaventure joined the followers of Francis and became a Friar Minor.

Becoming a Minister General

Even before he entered the Order, Bonaventure was noted for his extraordinary intelligence, as he was an eager student of the brilliant Franciscan theologian Alexander of Hales.

As a student and then as a professor, Bonaventure made a lasting contribution to the academic excellence of the University of Paris. As a spiritual master, he taught a method of contemplation that united the believer to God through the progressive stages of purgation, illumination, and union.

At the age of 36, Bonaventure was elected the Minister General of the Franciscan Order.

Stabilizing the Brotherhood

He was challenged with the task of reorganizing a community that had grown tremendously, and whose mission was lacking a clear focus. Over a period of seventeen years, Bonaventure instituted necessary structures and disciplines that indeed stabilized the brotherhood. At the same time, he authored several mystical treatises and Franciscan source documents that are foundational for both Franciscan spirituality and medieval theological development.

Death and Canonization

Saint Bonaventure died as a cardinal in 1274. He was canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1482, the 300th anniversary of Saint Francis’ birth.

Safeguarding Statement

The Franciscan Friars Conventual of St. Bonaventure Province are committed to creating safe environments for children and vulnerable adults.

Every friar in active ministry must complete training in Virtus (the National Catholic Risk Retention Group) and any other safe environment compliances required by the dioceses in which they serve.

In addition, St. Bonaventure Province has its own Safe Environment Commission that oversees the implementation and monitoring of the Province’s Policies, Procedures, and Protocols for Ethical Ministry with Minors and Vulnerable Adults. 

Any allegation regarding the Franciscan Friars Conventual of this Province receives an immediate response. This includes the Province’s full cooperation with local law enforcement authorities and Ordinaries who have ecclesial jurisdiction over these matters, as well as a duly diligent investigation by a qualified third party in order to substantiate credibility.