How do Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity celebrate the birthday of St. Bonventure? Today at 2 p.m. the Sisters planned a simple reception for one of their own , Sr. Marie Kolbe Zamora, OSF, who completed her Theology Licensure from the Pontifical Gregorian University located in Rome, Italy. This day was chosen because Sister’s studies focused on grace and the wisdom of this holy man of God known early in history as the Devout Teacher.
Writing that “love must go hand in hand with learning”, St. Bonaventure was born at a time when St. Francis’ brotherhood grew in record proportions not only in number, but in many geographic locations. Some interesting trivia about Bonaventure includes:
- named John at birth (St. Francis received this name as well.)
- unlikely that Bonaventure ever met Francis face to face
- cured of a serious illness through St. Francis’ intercession at a young age
- came in contact with the friars while at University of Paris
- entered Franciscan Order in 1243
- licensed as a bachelor of Scripture, became a master in theology
- elected as minister general of the Order
- wrote extensive works classified under three general headings-scholastic treatises, spiritual writings and lecture series
Bonaventure’s deep respect and love for Francis’ vision was rooted in his teaching. Later called the Seraphic Doctor, Bonaventure writes in The Life of St. Francis: “Among the gifts of grace which Francis received from God the generous Giver, he merited as a special privilege to grow in the riches of simplicity through his love of the highest poverty. The holy man saw that poverty was the close companion of the Son of God, and now that it was rejected by the whole world, he was eager to espouse it in everlasting love.”
How else might one celebrate this Franciscan feast?