Saint Bonaventure – A Voice Still Relevant Today
St. Bonaventure (Painting by Peter Paul Rubens, ca. 1620)

Saint Bonaventure – A Voice Still Relevant Today

This year is the 750th anniversary of the death of the Seraphic Doctor (d. July 15, 1274). On February 2, 2024, the Ministers General of the First Order and the Third Order Regular published a letter to the entire Franciscan Family, asking all to learn more about St. Bonaventure. The letter is entitled: “St. Bonaventure: A Voice Still Relevant Today.”

The Ministers General write: “It is not easy to reproduce in a few lines the theological and Franciscan richness contained in the nine volumes of the Opera omnia of Saint Bonaventure.” They chose to highlight three areas. The sections included are:

Master of theology: with his mind on its journey toward God

Minister of the Order: a passionate leader

Mystic of love: affect, the pinnacle of knowledge 

As a master of theology, Bonaventure teaches us the way of intelligence tempered by wisdom; a way in which we can move from the confused darkness of the forest to a deeper understanding of our faith (enlightenment), bringing “the hidden things to light”.

As a minister of the Order, he reminds us of our commitment to make our lives a witness animated by a readiness for renewal (purification) so that, even in radically different temporal and cultural circumstances, our life as minors can remain a “shining mirror of holiness.”

As a mystic, he shows us the center from which everything originates and is fulfilled, namely Christ crucified, who from the cross bestowed “the fire of the Holy Spirit” by which we reach our ultimate goal: “to be transferred” and “transformed into God,” the One who fills all things and makes them good and beautiful.