Born in Tuscany in 1221, Giovanni Fidanza, in consequence of a miraculous cure, entered the Franciscan Order. While still young, he became minister general; guided by his wise and prudent spirit, the Franciscan Order was saved from the schism which was about to divide the rigorous from the mild. He was closely united to St. Thomas Aquinas; both taught at the University of Paris at the same time. St. Bonaventure was created Cardinal and Bishop of Albano in 1273 by Gregory X; he died on July 15 in the following year at Lyons whilst the Ecumenical Council was held in that city. The Pope and the entire Council took part in his funeral; every priest in the world said Mass for his soul.
St. Bonaventure is a true example of the ascetic Franciscan school, which has spread among the people a fervent devotion to the most sacred human nature of the Redeemer. When he writes on the Passion of Our Lord or speaks in praise of the Blessed Virgin, his language grows eloquent and a seraphic ardor glows in his words.
Sixtus IV, when he canonized St. Bonaventure in 1482, ordered that the celebration of his feast in the Basilica of the Holy Apostles should be considered as a solemnity of the sacred Apostolic Palace. In later years a church and a monastery were dedicated to this saint on the Palatine.
(Source: The New Roman Missal, Rev. F. X. Lasance)
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