Bonaventure, known as the “Seraphic Doctor,” had so great an influence in the Franciscan Order that he has been called its second founder. Born in 1221 in Tuscany and baptized as Giovanni, he was given the name Bonaventure (‘Good Fortune’) by Saint Francis of Assisi, who cured him miraculously. Bonaventure joined the Friars Minor at age 20 and was sent to the University of Paris, where he studied and then taught philosophy and theology. Thomas Aquinas was his friend and colleague. In 1257, Bonaventure was chosen minister general of the Franciscans. In 1273 Pope Gregory X insisted Bonaventure accept the See of Albano and made him a cardinal. The pope, preparing an ecumenical council at Lyons designed to reunite the Greek and Latin rites, called on Thomas and Bonaventure to assist him. Thomas Aquinas died on the way to the Council and at the end of it, Bonaventure, also died on 15 July 1274 in Lyon, France. Despite his reputation for holiness, his canonization was delayed until 1482 because of dissension within the Franciscan Order. In 1588, he was declared a Doctor of the Church. Bonaventure’s writings on history, spirituality and medieval mystical doctrine still inspire readers. The Journey of the Mind to God is a famous book by Saint Bonaventure
Sometimes, being a Christian means going against doing what comes naturally. The whole world does what comes naturally, and that is why it needs salvation.