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Bonaventure (Italian: San Bonaventura; 1221[1] – 15 July 1274), born John of Fidanza (Italian: Giovanni di Fidanza), was an Italian medieval scholastic theologian and philosopher, the seventh Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor. He was a Cardinal Bishop of Albano. He was canonized on 14 April 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV and declared a Doctor of the Church in the year 1588 by Pope Sixtus V. He is known as the "Seraphic Doctor" (Latin: "Doctor Seraphicus"). Many writings believed in the Middle Ages to be his are now collected under the name Pseudo-Bonaventura.



He was born at Bagnoregio in Latium, not far from Viterbo. Almost nothing is known of his childhood, other than the names of his parents, Giovanni di Fidanza and Maria Ritella. He is said to have received his cognomen of Bonaventure ("good fortune") when he was cured from a serious childhood illness through the intercession of Saint Francis of Assisi.[citation needed]

He entered the Franciscan order in 1243 and studied at the University of Paris, possibly under Alexander of Hales, and certainly under Alexander's successor, John of Rochelle. In 1253 he held the Franciscan chair at Paris and was proceeded as master of theology. Unfortunately for Bonaventure, a dispute between secular and mendicants delayed his reception as master until 1257, where his degree was taken in company with St Thomas Aquinas.[2] Three years earlier his fame had gained for him the duty of lectoring on the The Four Books of Sentences - a book of theology written by Peter Lombard in the 12th century - and in 1255 he received the degree of master, the medieval equivalent of doctor. The year after he successfully defended his order against the reproaches of the anti-mendicant party, he was elected general of his order. On 24 November 1265, he was selected for the post of Archbishop of York; however, he was never consecrated and resigned the appointment in October 1266.[3] It was by his order that Roger Bacon, a Franciscan friar himself, was interdicted from lecturing at Oxford and compelled to put himself under the surveillance of the order at Paris.

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