St. Bonaventure - A Saint of Intelligence and Peace

One day during the summer of 1977, the summer in between high school and college, I randomly found myself at a weekday 6:30 AM mass.  At the beginning of the mass, the priest announced that it was the feast of St. Bonaventure (July 15).  My heart instantly jumped.  It felt like a sign - a good sign.  I was all signed up to start my Freshman year at St. Bonaventure University the following month and had hopes for some happy college years.  My heart was right ... almost immediately, I felt a bond with the University and spent 3 1/2 very enriching and joyful years there (one semester was spent in France).    

St. Bonaventure
Seraphic Doctor of the Church
Bas Relief decorating the Outside of Devereux Hall
O Buona Ventura!
Purportedly, St. Bonaventure was very sick as a young child, and his mother visited St. Francis to ask for prayers for her son.  When St. Francis met the boy, he prayed for healing and the young Giovanni (Bonaventure's probable original name) regained good health.  Francis then proclaimed, "O Buona Ventura!" (O Good Fortune!)  Bonaventure joined the Franciscan order 17 years after the death of St. Francis, and has been regarded by many as the second father of the Franciscan Order due to his skills in bringing struggling factions within the Order together.

Doctor Seraphicus
The title along the lower edge of the medallion is Latin for "Seraphic Doctor."  St. Bonaventure has been named a Doctor of the Church due to his great inspirational writings.  The "Seraphic" part is in honor of his deep relationship with God ... sort of like the Seraphim Angels who are the first of the nine choirs of angels ... those closest to God who constantly praise Him.

Book and Quill
St. Bonaventure is often portrayed with a book to represent his impactive writings, which include a biography on the life of St. Francis (which was frescoed by the artist, Giotto).

Red Cardinal's Hat For St. Bonaventure
A red cardinal's hat is often included in illustrations of St. Bonaventure, for he was appointed a cardinal-bishop in 1273.  He attended the Second Council of Lyons and was highly influential in reuniting the Greek Orthodox with Roman Catholics. Unfortunately, he died shortly after and the rift returned.

Dove
The white dove represents the Holy Spirit.  This symbol infers how St. Bonaventure was obedient to the Holy Spirit and was blessed with special gifts ... wisdom, counsel, and piety especially.

St. Bonaventure
Stained Glass Window from the St. Bonaventure University Chapel

St. Bonaventure
Mosaic from a Side Altar at the St. Bonaventure University Chapel

Friary Chapel of St. Bonaventure University - 1981
(Now called the University Chapel)


My Graduation Day from St. Bonaventure University
May 17, 1981

My 30th College Reunion
Summer, 2011

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