Bonaventure on the Order and the Gospel


I’m working on dissertation revisions today, and came around again to this rare autobiographical statement by Bonaventure about his motives for joining the Franciscans.

Let it not disturb you that in the beginning our bothers were simple and unlettered; rather, this very fact ought to strengthen your faith in the Order. For I confess before God that what made me love St. Francis’s way of life so much was that it is exactly like the origin and perfection of the Church itself, which began first with simple fisherman and afterwards developed to include the most illustrious and learned doctors. You find the same thing in the Order of St. Francis; in this way God reveals that it did not come about through human calculations but through Christ.

St. Bonaventure, “A Letter in Response to an Unknown Master,”  ¶12


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