St. Bonaventure was born in the early 13th century just five years after St. Francis of Assisi’s death. He was drawn to the Franciscan order as a young man and became a teacher within their order. He quickly became known for his ability to teach and write about the faith through the Franciscan lens. He became friends with St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Louis of France when he taught at the University of Paris. Bonaventure was known as one of the greatest philosophers of the middle ages, with perhaps his greatest works being the Commentary on the Sentences of Lombard and The Soul’s Journey to God. 

Because the Franciscans were a new order, they lacked organization after the death of their founder. St. Bonaventure was asked to leave the classroom to organize the structure of the Franciscan Order while holding true to the spirituality of St. Francis. St. Bonaventure died during the Second Ecumenical Council of Lyons and was canonized less than 200 years later. He is known as the “Seraphic Doctor” of the church because of his fiery love for Christ.