Who is Our Patron Saint?
Born in Bagnorea, Italy in 1221, Giovanni Fidanza was given the name Bonaventure by St. Francis of Assisi. The name means “good luck.” As a member of the Franciscan Order, Bonaventure left his home in Italy and studied at the University of Paris. When many people of his time were illiterate, Bonaventure was considered a learned man. He was famous throughout Europe for his religious books and writings, including a biography of St. Francis of Assisi.
Bonaventure devoted himself to the Franciscans, constantly trying to restore unity among groups of friars within the order. Known as the “Seraphic Doctor,” because of his religious devotion so evident in his works, Bonaventure had great influence of the Order. Many refer to him as its second founder.
Prior to his death in 1257, Bonaventure was the Minister General of the Franciscan Order and a Cardinal. He was canonized in 1482 and named Doctor of the Church in 1588. July 15 is the feast day of St. Bonaventure.
St. Bonaventure is remembered as a humble, prudent, kind, and holy man. His quote “Jesus is my only Teacher,” is a phrase that can still help us throughout life. We must be able to look to Jesus for help and guidance as Bonaventure did.