Bonaventure  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Bonaventure (1221 – 15 July 1274), born John of Fidanza was an Italian medieval scholastic theologian and philosopher, the eighth Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor. He was a Cardinal Bishop of Albano. He was canonized on 14 April 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV and declared a Doctor of the Church in the year 1588 by Pope Sixtus V. He is known as the "Seraphic Doctor". Many writings believed in the Middle Ages to be his are now collected under the name Pseudo-Bonaventura.

Writings

Bonaventure was formally canonised in 1484 by the Franciscan Pope Sixtus IV, and ranked along with Thomas Aquinas as the greatest of the Doctors of the Church by another Franciscan, Pope Sixtus V, in 1587. Bonaventure was regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages.

His works, as arranged in the most recent Critical Edition by the Quaracchi Fathers (Collegio S. Bonaventura), consist of a Commentary on the Sentences of Lombard, in four volumes, and eight other volumes, among which are a Commentary on the Gospel of St Luke and a number of smaller works; the most famous of which are Itinerarium Mentis in Deum, Breviloquium, De Reductione Artium ad Theologiam, Soliloquium, and De septem itineribus aeternitatis, in which most of what is individual in his teaching is contained. German philosopher Dieter Hattrup denies that De reductione artium ad theologiam might be written by Bonaventure, claiming that the style of thinking does not match Bonaventure's original style. His position is, however, no longer tenable given the research by Benson, Hammond, Hughes and Johnson in vol. 67 of Franciscan Studies (2009).

For St. Isabelle of France, the sister of King St. Louis IX of France, and her monastery of Poor Clares at Longchamps, St.Bonaventure wrote the treatise, Concerning the Perfection of Life.

The Commentary on the Sentences remains without doubt Bonaventure's greatest work; all his other writings are in some way subservient to it. It was written superiorum praecepto (at the command of his superiors) when he was only twenty-seven and is a theological achievement of the first rank.




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