St. Bonaventure Analysis

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Throughout his life, Giovanni di Fidanza, or as most know him, St Bonaventure, has played an important role in the Franciscan order. His teachings and theological discussions and writings are, to this day, referred to and lived by many Christians throughout the world. The Franciscan Order capitalised under the guidance of St Bonaventure. Through him peace and order were instilled into the order. In his work, St Bonaventure altered the direction and mission of the order, improving the order for Franciscans. Through all of St Bonaventure’s works, he is now seen as the second founder of the Franciscan order. This essay will investigate the changes that St Bonaventure made to the Order, to the direction and mission, and the factor in the…show more content…
He joined the Franciscan Order at the age of 22, after being drawn towards St Francis because of an incident when St Bonaventure was only an infant (Catholic Online, n.d.). At an early stage in his life, St Bonaventure was fatally ill, even his father, a physicist, couldn’t heal him. It was only a vow made by his mother to St Francis that caused him to return to perfect health (Noone, 2013). It was this incident that gave him his name of Bonaventure. When St Francis prayed for his recovery, he foresaw the greatness and the amazing work of Giovanni di Fidanza that he would do in the future, he exclaimed, ‘O Buona Ventura’ which means O Good Fortune (Catholic Online, n.d.). He became the Minister General in 1257, when the Order was divided into the ‘So-called Spirituals’ who followed St Francis’ rule exactly and the ‘Relaxati’ who lived a more relaxed lifestyle (, 2012). Using his new found authority, St Bonaventure restored the unity of the Order and reformed it so that it was in the spirit of its founder, St Francis of Assisi (,…show more content…
Saint Bonaventure once stated; “If you learn everything except Christ, you learn nothing. If you learn nothing except Christ, you learn everything.” In this he is saying that, in learning Christ, you will be knowledgeable. This shows that St Bonaventure is intellectually smart, and led the Franciscan Order by example (Franciscan Mission Service, 2014). He was the Minister General of the Franciscan Order for seventeen years, throughout which, he used his great wisdom and his dedication to his job to alter the direction and mission for the betterment of the Order (XVI, 2014). By leading the Order, he expanded it to strengthen the Order, further proof of altering the direction the Order was going in. In foreseeing the future, St Bonaventure knew that, regardless of the wisdom and moderation that had gone into the creation of the old mission, it would not suffice to be able to guarantee the continued communion of spirit and hearts (XVI, 2014). He formed a new constitution that all could agree to, in so, brought peace to the Order, altered the mission and direction and is clearly the second founder of the Franciscan

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