St. Bonaventure is not a very well known saint. His works are not very well known and his memorial on the 15th July has suffered somewhat over the years (often being downgraded and moved around).
But what I love about St. Bonaventure is his journey into the faith and into the church and then his utter dedication to it over his life.
As a child he experienced a near-death experience (we don’t know what this was) but he writes that he was saved by the intercession of St. Francis of Assisi – the founder of the then newly formed Franciscans.
So powerful an experience was this that Bonaventure dedicated his life to entering the church and following Francis.
In fact Bonaventure became the leader of the Franciscan Order and had such an impact on its development and growth that he is called its second founder – without him there would be no Franciscan Order today.
He was appointed as the Archbishop of York – but never took up the post (I can’t think why he didn’t want to move from Italy to the north of England!)
He wrote prolifically and was a contemporary of Thomas Aquinas. His works are considered some of the most important in the academic development of theology and of philosophy.
So why then has he rather fallen down the back of the church sofa? Why don’t we read him any more?
I suspect because his works are very hard to digest. Very hard to get to grips with and contain enormous ideas that need to be processed over time. Time we don’t often dedicate to thinking and learning about our faith these days.
Perhaps there’s a lesson there for us.
There is a PCC meeting after mass today (Sunday 11th).
Thank you very much to John Chick who has worked so hard to restore our High Altar and Lady Chapel Altar candlesticks and candles – don’t they look wonderful!
Susan Chick will be giving a short talk on the spiritual benefits of Compline (night prayer) we have a limited number of books to give away. 25th July, 6pm, followed by Evening Prayer & Benediction.
Many of you will now have heard the news about our dear friend and brother Fr. John Mothersole. His funeral will be on the 11th August at 10am here at St. Anselm. All are welcome.
Help fund an organist – please consider setting up regular giving with the Parish Giving Scheme. Call 0333 002 1271 with your bank details to hand and quote our Parish Code – 230 623 503 or visit our website www.stanselm.co.uk/giving