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St. Bonaventure - "O buona ventura"

Fr. Scott Haynes



When St. Bonaventure was baptized as a child, his parents named him Giovanni (John). So, how is it that his name became Bonaventure? When he was about four years old he got very sick. The doctors did not know what to do and he was dying. In desperation, his mother brought him to St. Francis of Assisi who was preaching in the area. St. Francis prayed over him and he was immediately healed. St. Francis also sensed the future greatness of this little boy and prophesied in Italian: O buona ventura (O blessed things to come). So when Giovanni grew up, he became a follower of St. Francis and was given the religious name Bonaventure because of the miraculous healing by St. Francis.

Years later, when the Pope decided to make St. Bonaventure a Cardinal, the papal envoys were sent to give him the beautiful red the cardinal’s hat. But when they found St. Bonaventure, he was washing dishes and his hands were greasy, so he asked them to leave it hanging on a tree until his hands were free to take it. St. Bonaventure was known for his cheerfulness, and this was because he did not take himself too seriously. But he surely took his faith seriously, like you do, and this gave him inner peace.


St. Bonaventure once said: “Spiritual joy is the greatest sign of the divine grace dwelling in a soul.” We ought to share that joy of Christ with each other. Each day, we ought to consider what blessed things may happen if we open our hearts are open with charity and joy. Just as St. Francis saw that little baby Giovanni and saw great blessings to come, we can make this our motto as we look for God’s blessings this day. O buona ventura!


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