Saint Bonaventure joined the Franciscan order in 1243 and earned his doctorate in theology from the University of Paris. He became master of the Franciscan school in 1253. He wrote on fundamental theology, the nature of dogma, Scripture and history, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, angels, creation, the virtues—and all of it was suffused with a mature spirituality focused on the individual soul progressing toward God. He was elected minister general of the entire Franciscan order when he was only 36.
In 1273 St. Bonaventure was elevated to Bishop. Knowing of this Franciscan’s humility and his refusal to accept a previous episcopal appointment, the Pope inserted into his bull an order that St. Bonaventure could not decline the honor. Saint Bonaventure died with his boots on, while participating in and aiding the Pope at the Council of Lyon in 1274. He was canonized in 1482, and declared a doctor of the Church in 1557. His writings on dogma were influential at the Council of Trent (1545-1563) and continue today to be utiized.