Blessed Bonaventure of Barcelona

Blessed Bonaventure of Barcelona
(Bendito Buenaventura de Barcelona)

Feast Day - September 11

A Spanish by birth, Bonaventure received his surname from his extensive activities in the diocese of Barcelona. While he was a shepherd, he spent all his spare time in prayer and in venerating the Blessed Mother of God. In accordance with his father’s wish he married, but he lived with his wife in virginal purity. She died an early death, and then Bonaventure joined the Franciscans as a lay brother. He was sent to Barcelona, and there he attracted attention by his holy life.

Finally, Providence led him to Italy, where Blessed Bonaventure of Barcelona strove to promote the strict observance of the rule. In the little convent of St Damian at Assisi he heard a voice saying to him:

“Go to Rome, and there fill my house with joy!”

This he did, and founded the convent of St Bonaventure on the Palatine, where the rule of St Francis was observed in its pristine spirit. Similar foundations soon followed, and simple Brother Bonaventure was commissioned to write the constitutions for them. At the pope’s command, he assumed the office of superior.

It was Our Lord himself who said, “This rule which Francis adopted was not dictated and composed by his human intellect and prudence, but by Me, according to My will. Every word written in it was inspired by My Spirit.”

The fame of his supernatural wisdom soon spread beyond the walls of the little convent on the Palatine. Many came to seek consolation and advice in difficult problems; among them were high officials and learned persons, even the pope himself. When he was sixty-years old, Bonaventure was attacked by a fever, which resulted in his death.

Blessed Bonaventure of Barcelona died a saintly death in 1684, and was beatified by Pope Pius X. The tomb of Blessed Bonaventure is at an altar on the Gospel side of the little church of St Bonaventure in Rome. In the same church at the high altar is the tomb of St Leonard of Port Maurice.

Prayer of the Church:

Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the help of Thy grace, that with Thy aid we may accomplish what we know Thou hast appointed us to perform. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

From: The Franciscan Book of Saints, Marion A. Habig, OFM

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