Saint Bonaventure


Today saint, Saint Bonaventure, might not be the most accessible saint in the churches calendar . A Franciscan, and a leader of the order, he was popular in his day, and he was educated, a great mind and theologian. All of these make him  important to the Church, yet none make him readily easy to understand.His theological work needs that educated mind of a scholar, and much of his administrative or church functions, including his work within the Franciscan order requires a historians mind. Unlike Saint Francis, who is probably the most immediately approachable saint for the layman, Bonaventure requires a bit of scholarship. One great thing about this saint though is that at least some of that scholarship needed to approach him can begin with his own writing. If one might get a bit lost in his theological underpinnings, one too can get lost in the beauty of his words. The literary form of expression for a medieval saint  is quite different from that of a 21 century working man. His Journey of the mind into God is not the most casual book to read, but each paragraph conveys enough information to keep one busy for weeks. Here is the opening line of that book:

 “Blessed the man, whose assistance is from Thee, he has arrainged ascensions in his own
heart in the vale of tears, in the place, which he placed them. Since beatitude is nothing other, than
the fruition of the Most High Good; and the Most High Good is above us: no one can become
[effici] blessed, unless he ascends above his very self, not by an ascent with the body [corporali],
but with the heart [cordiali]”

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