Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Saint Alexius. Confessor. Feast Day 17 July.

Text (unless otherwise stated) from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,

Saint Alexius.
   Feast Day 17 July.


White Vestments.

English: Saint Alexius.
Polski: św. Aleksy, Człowiek Boży (XVII w.).
Date: 17th-Century.
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Saint Alexius was born at Rome, towards 350 A.D., of a wealthy family; his father being the Senator Euphemian. Guided by The Holy Ghost, he renounced his patrimony and piously visited, as a Pilgrim, the Sanctuaries of The East. He died in the 5th-Century A.D., under the Pontificate of Pope Innocent I.

His body was buried in the Church which bears his name on Mount Aventine, Rome. He is honoured there with Saint Boniface (Feast Day 14 May), to whom the Church had originally been Dedicated.

Mass: Os justi.

English: The Minor Basilica of Saint Alexius, Rome, Italy.
Italiano: Santi Bonifacio ed Alessio all'Aventino.
Photo: 1 September 2013.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The following Text is taken from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

Saint Alexius, or Alexis of Rome, or Alexis of Edessa, was an Eastern Saint, whose Veneration was later transplanted to Rome. The relocation of the cult, to Rome, was facilitated by the belief that the Saint was a native of Rome and had died there.

This Roman connection stemmed from an earlier Syriac legend, which recounted that, during the Episcopate of Bishop Rabbula (412 A.D. - 435 A.D.), a "Man of God", who lived in Edessa, Mesopotamia as a beggar, and who shared the alms he received with other poor people, was found to be a native of Rome after his death.

The Greek version of his legend made Alexius the only son of Euphemianus, a wealthy Christian Roman of the Senatorial class. Alexius fled his arranged marriage to follow his Holy Vocation. Disguised as a beggar, he lived near Edessa, in Syria, accepting alms even from his own household slaves, who had been sent to look for him, but did not recognise him, until a miraculous vision of The Blessed Virgin Mary singled him out as a "Man of God."

English: Chapel of Saint Alexius, the Minor Basilica of Saint Boniface and Saint Alexius, Rome.
Italiano: Chiesa dei santi Bonifacio e Alessio all'Aventino: cappella di sant'Alessio nel sottoscala.
Photo: 9 January 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Lalupa.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Fleeing the resultant notoriety, he returned to Rome, so changed that his parents did not recognise him, but, as good Christians, took him in and sheltered him for seventeen years, which he spent in a dark cubby-hole beneath the stairs, praying and teaching Catechism to children.

After his death, his family found writings on his body, which told them whom he was and how he had lived his life of Penance from the day of his wedding, for the love of God.

Saint Alexius' cult developed in Syria and spread throughout the Eastern Roman Empire by the 9th-Century. Only from the end of the 10th-Century did his name begin to appear in any Liturgical Books in the West.

English: Minor Basilica of Saint Alexius and Saint Boniface, Rome, Italy.
Italiano: Santi Alessio e Bonifacio, Rome. Italia.
Photo: 11 July 2006.
Source: Own work.
Author: Panarjedde (FlagUploader).
(Wikimedia Commons)

Since before the 8th-Century, there was, on the Aventine, in Rome, a Church that was dedicated to Saint Boniface. In 972 A.D., Pope Benedict VII transferred this almost-abandoned Church to the exiled Greek Metropolitan, Sergius of Damascus. The latter erected, beside the Church, a Monastery for Greek and Latin Monks, soon made famous for the austere life of its inmates. To the name of Saint Boniface, was now added that of Saint Alexius, as Titular Saint of the Church and Monastery, now known as Santi Bonifacio e Alessio.

It is evidently Sergius and his Monks who brought to Rome the Veneration of Saint Alexius. The Eastern Saint, according to his legend a native of Rome, was soon very popular with the folk of that City, and this Church, being associated with the legend, was considered to be built on the site of the home that Alexius returned to from Edessa.

Saint Alexius is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology, under 17 July, in the following terms: "At Rome, in a Church on the Aventine Hill, a man of God is celebrated under the name of Alexius, who, as reported by tradition, abandoned his wealthy home, for the sake of becoming poor, and to beg for alms unrecognised."

English: Minor Basilica of Saint Boniface and Saint Alexius, Rome, Italy.
Italiano: Roma - Chiesa dei Ss. Bonifacio e Alessio.
Photo: October 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: MarkusMark.
(Wikimedia Commons)

While the Roman Catholic Church continues to recognise Saint Alexius as a Saint, his Feast Day was removed from The General Roman Calendar in 1969. The reason given was the legendary character of the written life of the Saint. The Catholic Encyclopedia article, regarding Saint Alexius, remarked: "Perhaps the only basis for the story is the fact that a certain pious ascetic, at Edessa, lived the life of a beggar and was later Venerated as a Saint."

The Tridentine Calendar gave his Feast Day the Rank of "Simple", but, by 1862, it had become a "Semi-Double" and, in Rome itself, a "Double". It was reduced again to the Rank of "Simple", in 1955, and, in 1960, became a "Commemoration".

English: A 1674 theatre programme for Saint Alexis, The Man of God,
presented in Kiev and dedicated to Tsar Alexis of Russia.
Русский: Театральная программка спектакля "Алексей, человек Божий",
поставленного в Киеве в 1674 году в посвящение царю Алексею Михайловичу.
Source: Scanned from И. Л. Бусева-Давыдова. Культура и искусство
в эпоху перемен. - М., Индрик, 2008, ISBN 978-5-85759-439-1 p.109.
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

According to the Rules in the present-day Roman Missal, The Saint may now be Celebrated everywhere on his Feast Day, with a "Memorial", unless in some locality an obligatory Celebration is assigned to that day.

The Eastern Orthodox Church Venerate Saint Alexius on 17 March. Five Byzantine Emperors, four Emperors of Trebizond, and numerous other Eastern European and Russian personalities, have borne his name; see Alexius.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Commemoration Of The Blessed Virgin Mary Of Mount Carmel. Feast Day 16 July.

Text and Illustration, unless stated otherwise, from CATHOLICISM PURE AND SIMPLE

Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Thou, who, with special mercy,
look upon those clothed in thy beloved Habit,

cast a glance of pity upon me.
Fortify my weakness with thy strength;

enlighten the darkness of my mind with thy wisdom;
increase my Faith, Hope and Charity.

Assist me during life,
console me by thy presence at my death,

and present me to The August Trinity 
as thy devoted child, 
that I may Bless thee for all Eternity in Paradise.


The following Text is from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless stated otherwise.

Commemoration Of The Blessed Virgin Mary Of Mount Carmel.
   Feast Day 16 July.


White Vestments.

According to a pious Tradition authorised by The Liturgy, on The Day of Pentecost a number of men who walked in the footsteps of The Holy Prophets, Elias and Eliseus, and whom John the Baptist had prepared for The Advent of Jesus, embraced The Christian Faith, and erected the first Church to The Blessed Virgin on Mount Carmel, at the very spot where Elias had seen a cloud rise, a figure of the fecundity of The Mother of God (Lesson of Second Nocturn at Matins).

They were called: Brethren of Blessed Mary of Mount Carmel (Collect). These Religious came to Europe in the 13th-Century and, in 1245, Pope Innocent IV gave his approbation to their Rule under the Generalship of Simon Stock, an English Saint.

On 16 July 1251, Mary appeared to this fervent servant [Simon Stock] and placed in his hands the Habit which was to be their distinctive sign. Pope Innocent IV blessed this Habit and attached to it many privileges, not only for The Members of The Order, but also for those who entered The Confraternity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

By wearing the Scapular, which is in smaller form than that of The Carmelite Fathers, they participate in all their merits and may hope to obtain through The Virgin a prompt delivery from Purgatory, if they have Faithfully observed Abstinence, Chastity (according to their state), and said the Prayers prescribed by Pope John XXII, in The Sabbatine Bull, published on 3 March 1322.

The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, at first Celebrated only in the Churches of The Order, was extended to all Christendom by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726.

Mass: Gaudeamus omnes.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Saint Henry. "Romanorum Imperator". Emperor And Confessor. Feast Day 15 July.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless stated otherwise.

Saint Henry.
   Emperor and Confessor.
   Feast Day 15 July.


White Vestments.

Coat-of-Arms of The Holy Roman Emperor.
English: Coat-of-Arms of Leopold II and Francis II, Holy Roman Emperors - "Or Shield" variant.
Deutsch: Wappen des Kaisers Leopold II. und Franz II. (HRR), Gold Schild.
Date: 8 January 2014.
[With supporters] Otto Posse.
Author: Tom Lemmens (in collaboration with Heralder).
(Wikimedia Commons)

Henry II, surnamed "The Pious", was King of Bavaria in 972 A.D., King of Germany in 1002, and Head of The Holy Roman Empire from 1014 to 1024. He promised on oath to Pope Benedict VIII, who had Crowned him, to be faithful in all things to him and his successors".

He did his best to spread Religion, restoring destroyed Churches, and Founding Monasteries which he liberally endowed (Epistle). Detained at Monte Cassino by severe illness, he was miraculously cured through the intercession of Saint Benedict.

In order to be ready for the coming of The Divine Master (Gospel, Communion), he returned from Italy, through France, was admitted as a Secular Oblate at Cluny and asked to be received into the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Vanne at Verdun, France. The Abbot welcomed him, but immediately commanded him, in the name of Religious Obedience, to re-ascend The Imperial Throne.

He so loved The Law of God (Introit), that he preserved absolute Virginity in marriage (Introit). Indeed, by agreement with his holy spouse, Cunegund, he determined to make Jesus Christ their heir, and, with this view, he Founded The Bishopric of Bamberg, to which he left all his possessions.

He was buried in Bamberg Cathedral in 1024.

Mass: Os justi.

English: Emperor Henry II and Empress Cunigunde's tomb,
by Tilman Riemenschneider, in Bamberg Cathedral, Germany.
Deutsch: Bamberger Dom - Grab Heinrich und Kunigunde.
Photo: May 2007.
Source: Own work.
Author: Reinhard Kirchner.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

Henry II (German: Heinrich II; Italian: Enrico II) (6 May 973 A.D. – 13 July 1024), also known as Saint Henry, Obl. S. B., was Holy Roman Emperor ("Romanorum Imperator") from 1014 until his death in 1024 and the last member of The Ottonian Dynasty of Emperors, as he had no children.

The Duke of Bavaria from 995 A.D., Henry became King of Germany ("Rex Romanorum") following the sudden death of his second cousin, Emperor Otto III, in 1002, was Crowned King of Italy ("Rex Italiae") in 1004, and was crowned by the Pope as Holy Roman Emperor in 1014.

The son of Henry II, Duke of Bavaria and his wife Gisela of Burgundy, Emperor Henry II was a great-grandson of German King Henry I and a member of the Bavarian Branch of The Ottonian Dynasty. Since his father had rebelled against two previous Emperors, the younger Henry was often in exile. This led him to turn to The Church at an early age, first finding refuge with The Bishop of Freising and, later, being educated at The Cathedral School of Hildesheim

He succeeded his father as Duke of Bavaria in 995 A.D., as "Henry IV". As Duke, he attempted to join his second-cousin, Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, in suppressing a revolt against Imperial Rule in Italy in 1002. Before Henry II could arrive, however, Otto III died of fever, leaving no heir. After defeating several other claimants to the Throne, Henry II was Crowned as King of Germany ("Rex Romanorum") on 9 July 1002 and as King of Italy ("Rex Italiae") on 15 May 1004. Henry II, in 1004, aided Jaromír, Duke of Bohemia, against the Poles, definitively incorporating The Duchy of Bohemia into The Holy Roman Empire.

English: Sacramentary of king Henry II [1002-14].
München BSB Clm 4456 Seite 33c: King Henry II.
Polski: Sakramentariusz króla Henryka II [1002-14]: Henryk II Święty.
Chrystus nakłada koronę. Po prawej stronie Emmeram z Ratyzbony i
cesarski miecz, a po lewej i Ulryk z Augsburga i włócznia Świętego Maurycego
Deutsch: Krönung Heinrich II., Christus setzt ihm selbst die Krone auf. Als Zeichen
seiner Macht werden ihm von w:de:Emmeram (rechts) das w:de:Reichsschwert
und Ulrich I. von Augsburg (links) die w:de:Heilige Lanze überreicht
Español: oronación de Enrique II, «Sacramentario de Enrique II»,
1002-1014. Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.
Date: Circa 1002-1014.
Current location: Bavarian State Library.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Unlike his predecessor, who had focused upon Imperial attention in Italy, Henry spent most of his reign concerned with Imperial territory North of The Alps. His main focus was on a series of wars against the Polish Duke Bolesław I, who had already conquered a number of Countries surrounding him. Henry did, however, lead three expeditions into Italy to ensure Imperial dominion over the Peninsula; twice to suppress secessionist revolts and once to challenge The Byzantine Empire for dominance over Southern Italy. On 14 February 1014, Pope Benedict VIII Crowned Henry as Holy Roman Emperor ("Romanorum Imperator") in Rome.

The Rule of Henry II is seen as a period of centralised authority throughout The Empire. He consolidated his power by cultivating personal and political ties with The Catholic Church. He greatly expanded The Ottonian Dynasty's custom of employing Clergy as counter-weights against Secular Nobles.

Through donations to The Church and the establishment of new Dioceses, Henry strengthened Imperial Rule across The Empire and increased control over Ecclesiastical affairs. He stressed Service to The Church and promoted Monastic reform. For his personal holiness and efforts to support The Church, Blessed Pope Eugene III Canonised him in 1146, making Henry II the only German Monarch to be a Saint.

Henry II crowned as Emperor by Pope Benedict VIII in 1014.
Date: 1400-1410.
Source: Vincent of Beauvais, Le Miroir Historial (Vol. IV).
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Henry II married Cunigunde of Luxembourg, who later became his Queen and Empress. As the union produced no children, after Henry's death the German Nobles elected Conrad II, a great-great-grandson of Emperor Otto I, to succeed him. Conrad was the first of The Salian Dynasty of Emperors.

Saint Henry II was Canonised in July 1147 by Blessed Pope Eugenius III; his spouse, Cunigunde, was Canonised on 29 March 1200 by Pope Innocent III. His Relics were carried on campaigns against Heretics in the 1160s. He is The Patron Saint of the City of Basle, Switzerland, and of Saint Henry's Marist Brothers' College, in Durban, South Africa.

Saint Henry's name, which does not appear in The Tridentine Calendar, was inserted in 1631 in The Roman Calendar as a Commemoration within the Celebration of Saint Anacletus on 13 July, the day of his death and the Traditional Day for his Celebration on a local level.

Gospel Book of Henry II.
Artist: Unknown Miniaturist, German (active around 1020).
Current location: Vatican Library.
Source/Photographer: Web Gallery of Art.
(Wikimedia Commons)

In 1668, it was moved to 15 July for Celebration as a Semi-Double. This Rank was changed by Pope Pius XII in 1955 to that of Simple, and by Pope Saint John XXIII in 1960 to that of Third-Class Feast. In 1969, it was returned to its original date of 13 July as an Optional Memorial.

During his lifetime, Henry II became an Oblate of The Benedictine Order, and today is Venerated within The Order as The Patron Saint of all Oblates, along with Saint Frances of Rome.

Henry II was a Member of The Ottonian Dynasty of Kings and Emperors, who Ruled The Holy Roman Empire (previously Germany) from 919 A.D., to 1024. In relation to the other Members of his Dynasty, Henry II was the great-grandson of Henry I, great-nephew of Otto I, first-cousin once removed of Otto II, and a second-cousin to Otto III.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Saint Bonaventure (1221-1274). Bishop And Confessor And Doctor Of The Church. Feast Day, Today, 14 July.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless stated otherwise.

Saint Bonaventure.
   Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of The Church.
   Feast Day 14 July.


White Vestments.

English: Saint Bonaventure.
Deutsch: Hl. Bonaventura,
Magyar: Szent Bonaventura angyallal,
Artist: Zurbarán, Francisco de (1598-1664)
Date: Circa 1640-1650.
Current location: Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, Germany.
Source/Photographer: The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei.
DVD-ROM, 2002. 
ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.
Permission: [1]
(Wikimedia Commons)

Saint Bonaventure was born in Tuscany, Italy, in 1221. He entered The Franciscan Order, in consequence of a miraculous cure due to the Intercession of Saint Francis of Assisi.

His Master was Alexander of Hales who used to say of his Virginal Disciple that one would have thought him preserved from Original Sin.

He was a Doctor of The Church at thirty years of age (Collect) and taught at The University of Paris at the same time as Saint Thomas Aquinas, to whom he was closely united. He was awarded the Title of Seraphic Doctor.

Appointed General of his Order, and, later, a Cardinal of The Church (Communion, Alleluia), he died in 1274 during The General Council of Lyons, where Greeks and Latins vied in admiring his zeal and clear-mindedness, which made him The Light of Faith.

Mass: In médio.

Saint Bonaventure.
Date: Circa 1650-1660.
Author: François, Claude (dit Frère Luc).
(Wikimedia Commons)

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

Saint Bonaventure, O.F.M. (Italian: San Bonaventura; 1221 – 15 July 1274), born Giovanni di Fidanza, was an Italian Mediaeval Scholastic Theologian and Philosopher. The seventh Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, he was also a Cardinal Bishop of Albano. He was Canonised 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, Italy, not far from Viterbo, then part of the Papal States. Almost nothing is known of his childhood, other than the names of his parents, Giovanni di Fidanza and Maria Ritella.

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. Unfortunately, for Bonaventure, a dispute between Seculars and Mendicants delayed his reception as Master until 1257, where his Degree was taken in company with Thomas Aquinas. Three years earlier his fame had earned him the position of Lecturer 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 Mediaeval equivalent of Doctor.

After having successfully defended his Order against the reproaches of the Anti-Mendicant Party, he was elected Minister General of the Franciscan 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.

English: Church of San Bonaventura, Venice, Italy.
Français: Église San Bonaventura Venise, façade.
Italiano: Chiesa di San Bonaventura Venezia, facciata.
Photo: 15 May 2012.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

During his tenure, the General Chapter of Narbonne, held in 1260, promulgated a Decree prohibiting the publication of any work, out of the Order, without permission from the higher Superiors. This prohibition has induced modern writers to pass severe judgment upon Roger Bacon's Superiors being envious of Bacon's abilities. However, the prohibition, enjoined on Bacon, was a general one, which extended to the whole Order.

Its promulgation was not directed against him, but rather against Gerard of Borgo San Donnino. Gerard had published, in 1254, without permission, a Heretical work, Introductorius in Evangelium æternum. Thereupon, the General Chapter of Narbonne promulgated the above-mentioned Decree, identical with the "constitutio gravis in contrarium" that Bacon speaks of. The above-mentioned prohibition was rescinded in Roger's favour, unexpectedly, in 1266.

Bonaventure was instrumental in procuring the Election of Pope Gregory X, who rewarded him with the Title of Cardinal Bishop of Albano, and insisted on his presence at the great Second Council of Lyon in 1274. There, after his significant contributions led to a union of the Greek and Latin Churches, Bonaventure died suddenly and in suspicious circumstances. The Catholic Encyclopedia has citations which suggest he was poisoned. The only extant Relic of the Saint is the arm and hand with which he wrote his Commentary on the Sentences, which is now conserved at Bagnoregio, Italy, in the Parish Church of Saint Nicholas.

He steered the Franciscans on a moderate and intellectual course, that made them the most prominent Order in the Catholic Church until the coming of the Jesuits. His Theology was marked by an attempt completely to integrate Faith and Reason. He thought of Christ as the “One True Master”, who offers humans knowledge that begins in Faith, is developed through rational understanding, and is perfected by mystical union with God.

English: Statue of Saint Bonaventure, Woerden, Netherlands.
Nederlands: Beeld Bonaventura, Bonaventurakerk, Woerden, Netherlands.
Source: Originally from nl.wikipedia; description page is/was here.
Author: Original uploader was P.H. Louw at nl.wikipedia
Permission: CC-BY-2.5-NL.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Bonaventure's Feast Day was included in the General Roman Calendar, immediately upon his Canonisation in 1482. It was at first celebrated on the second Sunday in July, but was moved, in 1568, to 14 July, since 15 July, the Anniversary of his death, was at that time taken up with the Feast of Saint Henry.

Bonaventure was formally Canonised, in 1484, by the Franciscan Pope Sixtus IV, and ranked along with Thomas Aquinas as the greatest of the Doctors of the Church by another Franciscan, Pope Sixtus V, in 1587. Bonaventure was regarded as one of the greatest Philosophers of the Middle Ages.

His works, as arranged in the most recent Critical Edition by the Quaracchi Fathers (Collegio S. Bonaventura), consist of a "Commentary on the Sentences of Lombard", in four volumes, and eight other volumes, among which are a "Commentary on the Gospel of Saint Luke" and a number of smaller works; the most famous of which are Itinerarium Mentis in Deum, Breviloquium, De Reductione Artium ad Theologiam, Soliloquium, and De septem itineribus aeternitatis, in which most of what is individual in his teaching is contained.

For Saint Isabelle of France, the sister of King Saint Louis IX of France, and her Monastery of Poor Clares, at Longchamps, France, Saint Bonaventure wrote the Treatise "Concerning the Perfection of Life".

English: The Stained-Glass Windows of the Cathedral Santa Ana, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. From left to right: Saint Martial of Limoges; Saint Peter of Verona, also known as Saint Peter Martyr; Mary with Jesus; Saint Anna and Mary; Saint Bonaventure.
Deutsch: Die figürlichen Fenster der Kathedrale Santa Ana, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Kanarische Inseln. Von links nach rechts: Heiliger Martial von Limoges; Heiliger 
von Verona, auch genannt Petrus Martyr; Maria mit Jesus; Heilige Anna und Maria;
Heiliger Bonaventura.
Français: Vitraux de la cathédrale de Santa Ana, à Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, dans
les Canaries. 
De gauche à droite : Saint Martial de Limoges, Saint Pierre de Vérone
(ou Saint Pierre le Martyr), Marie et Jésus, Marie et Saint Anne, Saint Bonaventure.
Photo: 5 October 2011.
Source: Own work.
Author: H. Zell.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The "Commentary on the Sentences" remains, without doubt, Bonaventure's greatest work; all his other writings are in some way subservient to it. It was written superiorum praecepto (at the command of his Superiors) when he was only twenty-seven and is a Theological achievement of the First Rank.

Bonaventure wrote on almost every subject treated by the Schoolmen, and his writings are very numerous. The greater number of them deal with Philosophy and Theology. No work of Bonaventure's is exclusively Philosophical and bears striking witness to the mutual interpenetration of Philosophy and Theology, which is a distinguishing mark of the Scholastic period.

Much of Saint Bonaventure’s Philosophical thought shows a considerable influence by Saint Augustine. So much so, that De Wulf considers him the best representative of Augustinianism. Saint Bonaventure adds Aristotelian principles to the Augustinian Doctrine, especially in connection with the illumination of the intellect, according to Gilson. Saint Augustine, who had imported into the West many of the Doctrines that would define scholastic Philosophy, was an incredibly important source of Bonaventure's Platonism. The Mystic, Dionysius the Areopagite, was another notable influence.

In Philosophy, Bonaventure presents a marked contrast to his contemporaries, Roger Bacon and Thomas Aquinas. While these may be taken as representing, respectively, physical science yet in its infancy, and Aristotelian scholasticism in its most perfect form, he presents the mystical and Platonising mode of speculation, which had already, to some extent, found expression in Hugo and Richard of Saint Victor, and in Bernard of Clairvaux. To him, the purely intellectual element, though never absent, is of inferior interest, when compared with the living power of the affections or the heart.

Stained-Glass Windows, depicting Saint Bonaventure (Left) and Saint Thomas Aquinas (Right),
in the Apse of Saint Bonaventure Church, Raeville, Nebraska, United States of America.
Photo: 31 October 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: Ammodramus.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Like Thomas Aquinas, with whom he shared numerous profound agreements in Matters Theological and Philosophical, he combated the Aristotelian notion of the eternity of the world, vigorously. Bonaventure accepts the Platonic Doctrine that ideas do not exist "in rerum natura", but as ideals exemplified by the Divine Being, according to which actual things were formed; and this conception has no slight influence upon his Philosophy.

Due to this Philosophy, Physicist and Philosopher Max Bernhard Weinstein contended that Bonaventure showed strong pandeistic inclinations. Like all the great scholastic Doctors, Bonaventura starts with the discussion of the relations between Reason and Faith. All the sciences are but the handmaids of Theology; Reason can discover some of the moral truths which form the groundwork of the Christian system, but others it can only receive and apprehend through Divine illumination.

To obtain this illumination, the Soul must employ the proper means, which are Prayer, the exercise of the Virtues, whereby it is rendered fit to accept the Divine Light, and Meditation, which may rise even to ecstatic union with God. The supreme end of life is such union, union in contemplation or intellect and in intense absorbing Love; but it cannot be entirely reached in this life, and remains as a Hope for the future.

A master of the memorable phrase, Bonaventure held that Philosophy opens the mind to at least three different routes that humans can take on their journey to God:

English: Saint Bonaventure receives the Envoys of
Deutsch: Der Hl. Bonaventura empfängt die Gesandten des Kaisers.
Artist: Francisco de Zurbarán (1598–1664).
Date: Circa 1640-1650.
Current location: Louvre Museum, Paris, France.
Source/Photographer: The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei.
DVD-ROM, 2002. 
ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.
Permission: [1]
(Wikimedia Commons)

Non-intellectual material creatures he conceived as shadows and vestiges (literally, footprints) of God, understood as the ultimate cause of a world that Philosophical Reason can prove was created at a first moment in time;

Intellectual creatures he conceived of as images and likenesses of God, the workings of the human mind and Will, leading us to God understood as Illuminator of Knowledge and Donor of Grace and Virtue;

The final route to God is the route of being, in which Bonaventure brought Saint Anselm's argument, together with Aristotelian and Neoplatonic metaphysics, to view God as the Absolutely Perfect Being, whose essence entails its existence, an Absolutely Simple Being that causes all other, composite beings to exist.

Bonaventure, however, is not merely a meditative thinker, whose works may form good manuals of devotion; he is a Dogmatic Theologian of High Rank, and, on all the disputed questions of scholastic thought, such as universals, matter, the principle of individualism, or the intellectus agens, he gives weighty and well-reasoned decisions.

English: The Church of Saint Bonaventure, Munich, Germany.
Deutsch: Starnberg, OT Percha, Harkirchener Straße 7. Altenheim St. Josef mit
der integrierten Kirche St. Bonaventura. Eine Münchnerin überlies 1895 
Dank für die
Pflege eines Angehörigen ihre beiden Landhäuser in Percha den Ursberger Pflegeanstalten.
Photo: 3 November 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: I. Berger.
(Wikimedia Commons)

He agrees with Saint Albert the Great in regarding Theology as a practical science; its truths, according to his view, are peculiarly adapted to influence the affections. He discusses very carefully the nature and meaning of the Divine Attributes; considers universals to be the ideal forms pre-existing in the Divine Mind, according to which things were shaped; holds matter to be pure potentiality, which receives individual being and determinateness from the formative Power of God, acting according to the ideas; and, finally, maintains that the intellectus agens has no separate existence. On these, and on many other points of scholastic Philosophy, the "Seraphic Doctor" exhibits a combination of subtlety and moderation, which makes his works particularly valuable.

In form and intent, the work of Saint Bonaventure is always the work of a Theologian; he writes as one for whom the only angle of vision and the proximate criterion of Truth is the Christian Faith. This fact influences his importance for the history of Philosophy; when coupled with his style, it makes Bonaventure perhaps the least accessible of the major figures of the 13th-Century. This is true, not because he is a Theologian, but because Philosophy interests him largely as a praeparatio evangelica, as something to be interpreted as a foreshadow of, or deviation from, what God has revealed.

In a way that is not true of Aquinas or Albert or Scotus, Bonaventure does not survive well the transition from his time to ours. It is difficult to imagine a contemporary Philosopher, Christian or not, citing a passage from Bonaventure to make a specifically Philosophical point. One must know Philosophers to read Bonaventure, but the study of Bonaventure is seldom helpful for understanding Philosophers and their characteristic problems. Bonaventure, as a Theologian, is something else again, of course, as is Bonaventure the edifying author. It is in those areas, rather than in Philosophy proper, that his continuing importance must be sought.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Saint Anacletus. Pope And Martyr. Feast Day, Today, 13 July.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless stated otherwise.

Saint Anacletus.
   Pope And Martyr.
   Feast Day 13 July.


Red Vestments.

Italiano: Ritratto di Papa San Cleto nella Basilica di San Paolo fuori la Mura, Roma.
Date: Circa 1850.
Source: Unknown.
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

"At Rome," says The Roman Martyrology, "The Feast of Saint Anacletus, Pope and Martyr, who governed The Church of God and honoured it by his illustrious Martyrdom."

Participating in the fullness of The Priesthood of Christ (Introit, Alleluia), Offertory), this Holy Pontiff also shared in His sufferings (Epistle). Head of The Church, he trembled not before the prince of this World, and became one of the Foundation Stones of The Church in the 1st-Century A.D. (Gospel).

He decreed that all Bishops should be Consecrated by three Bishops, at least; that Clerics should be publicly Ordained by their own Bishop, and, at their Mass of Ordination, they should all receive Holy Communion.

He received The Crown of Martyrdom (Communion), after having occupied The Holy See for about ten years, and was buried on The Vatican Hill in 112 A.D.

Mass: Sacerdótes.

Tulip Staircase.


Thursday, 12 July 2018

Saint John Gualbert. Abbot. Feast Day 12 July.

Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless stated otherwise.

Saint John Gualbert.
   Feast Day 12 July.


White Vestments.

English: Saint John Gualbert and Saints. Church of Santa Trinita, Florence, Italy.
Italiano: Santa Trinita. San Giovanni Gualberto and Saints. Florence, Italy.
Photo: 4 July 2006.
Source: Unknown.
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Basilica di Santa Trinita (Holy Trinity), Piazza Santa Trinita, Florence, Italy.
Photo: 30 October 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: LivornoDP.
(Wikimedia Commons)

John Gualbert was born at Florence, Italy, towards 999 A.D. One Good Friday, escorted by his armed attendants, he met the murderer of his brother. who was alone and unattended.. He was about to pierce him with his lance, when the murderer threw himself at his feet and craved pardon for the sake of Jesus Christ Crucified. John remembered the loving words of the Gospel and embraced him as a brother.

Still more touched by Grace, he became a Monk, and soon a Law-Giver, like Moses (Epistle). He Founded at Vallombrosa, in Tuscany, Italy, a new Order [Editor: The Vallumbrosan Order] to which he gave The Rule of Saint Benedict (Communion) and which is still flourishing after more than eight Centuries of existence.

Simony reigned everywhere in Italy. His firmness and eloquence banished this disorder from Tuscany and brought back his Country to integrity of Faith and Manners. So, when he died in 1073, they inscribed on his tomb: "To John Gualbert. citizen of Florence, liberator of Italy".

Mass: Os justi.
Commemoration: Of Saints Nabor and Felix.

"The Merciful Knight."
Birmingham Museum Art Gallery, 
Birmingham, England.
Date: 1863.
Author: Edward Burne-Jones (1833–1898)
(Wikimedia Commons)

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

John Gualbert (985 A.D. – 12 July 1073), also known as Giovanni Gualberto or John Gualberto, is an Italian Roman Catholic Saint, the Founder of The Vallumbrosan Order.

A member of the Visdomini Family of Florentine nobility, one Good Friday he was entering Florence, accompanied by armed followers, when in a narrow lane he came upon a man who had killed his brother. He was about to kill the man in revenge, when the other fell upon his knees with arms outstretched in the form of a Cross and begged for mercy in the name of Christ, who had been Crucified on that day.

John forgave him. He entered The Benedictine Church at San Miniato to Pray, and the figure on The Crucifix bowed its head to him in recognition of his generosity. This story forms the subject of Burne-Jones's picture "The Merciful Knight", and has been adapted by Shorthouse in "John Inglesant".

John Gualbert became a Benedictine Monk at San Miniato, Italy. He fought actively against Simony, of which both his Abbot, Oberto, and the Bishop of Florence, Pietro Mezzabarba, were guilty.

English: Church of Saint John Gualbert, Livorno, Italy.
Italiano: Livorno, Valle Benedetta: chiesa di S. Giovanni Gualberto.
Photo: 25 April 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: Etienne (Li)
(Wikimedia Commons)

Unwilling to compromise with them, he left the Monastery to lead a more perfect life. His attraction was for the cenobitic, and not eremitic life, so, after staying for some time with the Monks at Camaldoli, he settled at Vallombrosa, where he Founded his Monastery.

The area surrounding his Monastery was wild and deserted when he first arrived. John thought that it would be more conducive to contemplation and discipline if the grounds were better kept. But, instead of a Traditional garden, he opted to have his Monks plant trees (firs and pines, mostly), creating a Park and Nature Reserve to enhance the Prayerful environment. Mabillon estimates its Foundation before 1038.

He was Canonised in 1193 by Pope Celestine III.

Saint John Gualbert's Feast Day was not included in The Tridentine Calendar, but was added to The General Roman Calendar in 1595. Owing to its limited Worldwide importance, his Feast Day was removed from that Calendar in 1969. But, 12 July continues to be his Feast Day, as indicated in The Roman Martyrology, and, according to the new rules given in The Roman Missal of the same year, he may now be Celebrated everywhere with his own Mass on that day,

He is the Patron Saint of Foresters, Park Rangers, and Parks.
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