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Bonaventure, Saint (1217–1274)

  1. David Lyle Jeffrey

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1302

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Jeffrey, D. L. 2011. Bonaventure, Saint (1217–1274). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Doctor of the Church, Cardinal Bishop of Albano, Minister General of the Franciscan Order and one of the greatest of medieval theologians, Bonaventure was born near Viterbo in Italy. His name was John of Fidanza, but he attracted the nickname from an apparently miraculous recovery from illness during his youth — a cure attributed to St. Francis (O buona ventura). He studied with the Order of Friars Minor at Bagnorea in about 1225–1235, then was sent to study in Paris under the great Alexander of Hales from 1236 to 1242, becoming licensed as magister in 1248. During this period his other great teacher was Albert the Great. He lectured in Paris until 1256. Along with his famous colleague, Thomas Aquinas, he was made Regent Master of the University on August 12, 1257, a few months after he had been elected Minister General of the Franciscan Order. Alexander of Hales was so struck by his purity of life that he wrote of his student that he seemed “to have escaped the curse of Adam's sin.”


  • Bonaventure, Saint (1217–1274);
  • doctor of the church, cardinal bishop of albano;
  • order of friars;
  • retracing the arts to theology