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Bonaventure: The Soul's Journey into God - The Classics of Western Spirituality

Item Number: 31164

Catalog Code: 9780809121212

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Bonaventure: The Soul's Journey into God

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St. Bonaventure -The Soul's Journey into God, The Tree of Life, The Life of St. Francis
Translation and introduction by Ewert Cousins, preface by Ignatius Brady, O.F.M.


"But if you wish to know how these things come about ask grace not instruction, desire not understanding, the groaning of prayer not diligent reading, the Spouse not the teacher, God not man, darkness not clarity, not light but the fire that totally enflames and carries us into God by ecstatic unctions and burning affections. This fire is God and his furnace is in Jerusalem…" Bonaventure, 1217-1274. Long before Bonaventure was called "The Prince of Mystics" by Leo XIII or "The Seraphic Doctor" by John Gerson, he was known throughout the Christian world as "The Devout Teacher."Professor Ewert Cousins says in his introduction, "In the history of Western Spirituality, Bonaventure holds a central and pivotal position. The 13th century friar, professor at the University of Paris, minister general of the Franciscan Order, cardinal and advisor to popes, played a major role in the spiritual ferment of the high Middle Ages…when Islamic, Jewish and Christian spirituality were flourishing-he produced one of the richest syntheses of Christian spirituality. Although cosmic in its scope, it was distinctively Christian in its content, grounded in the doctrine of the Trinity and devotion to the humanity of Christ. Within Christianity he achieved a striking integration of Eastern and Western elements."  The three works contained in this volume offer the core of his vision.

In The Soul's Journey into God, considered Bonaventure's masterpiece, he takes the six-winged Seraph as the symbol for the six stages of contemplation in which the created world is seen as a reflection of God.

The Tree of Life is a simple meditation on the life of Jesus, "based on the Gospel accounts" in which "Christ is seen as the Tree of Life on whose branches blossom such virtues as humility, piety, patience, constancy and justice."

The Life of St. Francis was the official biography commissioned by the Franciscan Order in 1260.

The editor of this volume, Dr. Ewert Cousins, is Professor of Theology, Fordham University and Visiting Professor, Columbia University. He is Director of the Spirituality Graduate Program at Fordham.  Ignatius Brady, O.F.M., who wrote the preface to this volume, is one of the world's leading authorities on Bonaventure and early Franciscan spirituality. He is Prefect of the Theology Section of the Franciscan research center, Collegio S. Bonaventura at Grottaferrata near Rome.

"The Paulist Press' recent 60-volume series on the Western mystics is to my mind the most hopeful sign in American publishing." Kenneth L. Woodward Religion Editor of Newsweek Magazinein Publishers Weekly


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St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio

St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 07/15
Tridentine Calendar - 07/14

Patron Of: Against Bowel Disorder

Also known as

    * Seraphic Doctor of the Church
    * the Devout Doctor


    * 15 July


    Healed from a childhood disease through the prayers of Saint Francis of Assisi. Bonaventure joined the Order of Friars Minor at age 22. Studied theology and philosophy in Paris. Friend of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Doctor of Theology. Friend of King Saint Louis IX. General of the Franciscan Order at 35. Bishop of Albano, Italy. Cardinal. Spoke at the Council of Lyons, but died before its close. Writer. Biographer of Saint Francis. Doctor of the Church.


    * 1221 at Bagnoregio, Tuscany, Italy


    * 15 July 1274 at Lyon, France of natural causes


    * 14 April 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV


    * against intestinal problems
    * Bagnoregio, Italy
    * Cochiti Indian Pueblo
    * Saint Bonaventure University, New York


    * cardinal‘s hat
    * ciborium
    * Holy Communion
    * cardinal in Franciscan robes, usually reading or writing

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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