Saint of the day:
Patron Saint of Bowel Disorder, Doctor of the Church, Against Digestive Issues
Pray with this holy saint for relief from digestive issues
Saint Bonaventure's Story
Perhaps not a household name for most people, Saint Bonaventure, nevertheless, played an important role in both the medieval Church and the history of the Franciscan Order. A senior faculty member at the University of Paris, Saint Bonaventure certainly captured the hearts of his students through his academic skills and insights. But more importantly, he captured their hearts through his Franciscan love for Jesus and the Church. Like his model, Saint Francis, Jesus was the center of everything—his teaching, his administration, his writing, and his life. So much so, that he was given the title “Seraphic Doctor.”
Born in Bagnorea in 1221, Saint Bonaventure was baptized John, but received the name Bonaventure when he became a Franciscan at the age of 22. Little is known about his childhood, but we do know that his parents were Giovanni di Fidanza and Maria Ritell. It seems that his father was a physician and a man of means. While Saint Francis died about five years after the saint’s birth, he is credited with healing Bonaventure as a boy of a serious illness.
Saint Bonaventure’s teaching career came to a halt when the Friars elected him to serve as their General Minister. His 17 years of service were not easy as the Order was embroiled in conflicts over the interpretation of poverty. Some friars even ended up in heresy saying that Saint Francis and his community were inaugurating the era of the Holy Spirit which was to replace Jesus, the Church, and Scripture. But because he was a man of prayer and a good administrator, Saint Bonaventure managed to structure the Order through effective legislation. But more importantly, he offered the Friars an organized spirituality based on the vision and insights of Saint Francis. Always a Franciscan at heart and a mystical writer, Bonaventure managed to unite the pastoral, practical aspects of life with the doctrines of the Church. Thus, there is a noticeable warmth to his teachings and writings that make him very appealing.
Shortly before he ended his service as General Minister, Pope Gregory X created him a Cardinal and appointed him bishop of Albano. But a little over a year later, while participating in the Second Council of Lyon, Saint Bonaventure suddenly died on July 15, 1274. There is a theory that he was poisoned.
Saint Bonaventure left behind a structured and renewed Franciscan Order and a body of work all of which glorifies his major love—Jesus.
Bonaventure: Relics of the Saint
As was the tradition in medieval times, relics of the saint (or those who would become a saint) were important. At some point in time after his death, the arm and hand of Bonaventure were removed from the body and conserved at his home parish of St. Nicholas in Bagnoregio. As noted above, the remains of the saint were moved in 1434 to a new church in Lyon. In 1562, Bonaventure’s shrine was plundered by the Huguenots and the coffin containing his body was burned in the public square. It is recorded that Bonaventure’s head was preserved through the heroism of the local Franciscan superior, who hid it at the cost of his life. The local community reported that the relic disappeared during the French Revolution and every effort to discover it has been in vain.
St Bonaventure (d. 1274, Lyon, France) (Relics: Bagnoregio, Italy)
San Bonaventura al Palatino
(Saint Bonaventure at the Palatine)
Via San Bonaventura 7
*This church is in the Roman Forum. It is not open often.
*Within this small church are a number of paintings by Giovanni Battista Benaschi from the 17th century.
Santi Apostoli (Holy Apostles)
Piazza dei Santi Apostoli 51
*This church is just east of Piazza Venezia.
*The first chapel on the right side of the nave is dedicated to St Bonaventure.
*Relics of St Philip and St James the Less rest within the confessio.
Santa Maria della Concezione
(Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception)
Via Veneto 27
*This church is just north of the Barberini metro stop.
*The fifth chapel on the left side of the nave is dedicated to St Bonaventure. The altarpiece within this chapel was completed by Andrea Sacchi.
Santa Croce e San Bonaventura dei Lucchesi
(Holy Cross and Saint Bonaventure of the Lucchesi)
Via dei Lucchesi 3
*This church is near the Trevi Fountain. It is not open often.
*The first chapel on the left side of the nave is dedicated to St Bonaventure.
Digestive relief Tea with ginger with lots of honey
Lemongrass has a cooling energy that helps to calm the stomach. It also contains citral, a nutrient that promotes good digestion. It is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat bloating and indigestion. Raw linden honey also has calming properties, which make this linden honey and organic lemongrass tea combination even better for your digestive health.