Known as the “seraphic doctor,” St. Bonaventure was a bishop and doctor in the Church. Born in the Tuscan town of Bagnorea in 1221, he died on July 15, 1274 while working with the Second Council of Lyons. His feast day is July 15.

Bonaventure means “O good fortune,” a name given him when St. Francis of Assisi prayed for his recovery from a life-threatening illness as a child. Bonaventure recovered and joined the Franciscan Order at age 22. He was an intimate friend of St. Thomas of Aquinas at Paris. At age 35, he was named General of his Order and began composition of his “Life of St. Francis.”

Bonaventure’s writings have been collected showing his influence on the church. He was credited with maintaining peace within the once-tense Order. Pope Sixtus IV canonized him in 1482. Pope Sixtus V named him a doctor of the Church in 1588.