St. Bonaventure, (1221-1274) known as "the seraphic doctor," was born at Bagnoregio, in the Lazio region of central Italy. His Christian name as John, but he received the name of Bonaventure in consequence of an exclamation of St. Francis of Assisi, who cried out "O Buona ventura"-O good fortune! when being cured by St. Francis of Assisi of a dangerous bowel disorder. recognized in him a student with a keen memory and unusual intelligence. Bonaventure was particularly noted in his day as a man with the rare ability to reconcile diverse traditions in theology and philosophy. He united different doctrines in a synthesis containing his personal conception of truth as a road to the love of God.
However, one of his most powerful works is Mirror of the Blessed Virgin Mary. An excerpt is following;
“This tender Mother is animated by such a desire to help everyone, that she is offended not only by those who insult her outright - for there are some, especially among gamblers, who are perverse souls who blaspheme in the excess of their anger and insult this sweet Sovereign - but also by those who do not ask her for any graces.
Not only those who insult you, O Queen, but even those who ask you nothing, sin against you. . . O truly great grace of Mary, by which many are saved and find mercy, who were given up as hopeless by their priests and pastors! Therefore St. Bernard saith: “Mary, thou embracest with maternal affection the sinner despised by the whole world, thou cherishest him, thou never forsakest him, until he is reconciled to the tremendous Judge.” Likewise, Mary nourishes the good with the fatness of grace. Therefore, is it said in Ecclesiasticus: “The grace of a diligent woman shall delight her husband, and shall fat his bones” (XXVI, 16.) Mary was indeed the diligent woman of whom Bede saith: “Mary was silent about the secret of God, but she diligently considered it in her heart.” Who was the husband of this diligent woman, but He whom she had encompassed in her womb? Of whom Jeremias says: “The Lord hath created a new thing upon the earth, a woman shall encompass a man” (Jer. XXXI, 32.) The bones of this man are all they who are strong in the Church, that is, in His body. These bones, by the help of the grace of Mary, are fattened by the unction of grace. They are fattened, I say, by the fatness of the Holy Ghost, by which he longed to be enriched who said: “Let my soul be filled as with marrow and fatness.” Oh, who can reckon how many souls by the help of Mary are nourished and fattened by grace? And who indeed can calculate how great in Mary herself was this fatness of grace, by which so many millions of souls are nourished? What was lacking to her who was the dwelling of all virtue and grace? St. John Damascene says: “Mary, planted in the house of the Lord, and fattened in spirit like a fruitful olive tree, was made the dwelling of every virtue.” Likewise, Mary delivers all men from everlasting death. This was well typified in Esther, of whom we read: “The king loved her more than all women and placed the diadem of his kingdom on her head” (Est. II, 17.) We read, therefore, that there was a twofold utility in the grace of Esther which she had with the king: one was that she obtained the royal crown; the other, that she delivered her nation, which had been condemned to death. So, Mary, our Esther, obtained such grace with the eternal King that by it she not only attained to the crown herself, but delivered the human race, which was condemned to death. Therefore St. Anselm says: “How shall I worthily praise the Mother of my Lord and God, by whose fecundity I, a captive, was redeemed, by whose Son I was rescued from eternal death, by whose Child, I, being lost, was recovered and led back from the exile of misery to the homeland of eternal beatitude.” O Mother of grace, make us sons of grace. Grant that by thy most true grace we may be gathered for the pardon of sin, nourished by the spirit of devotion, and delivered from the death of damnation! Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
St. Bonaventure was given the patronage of bowel and intestinal disorders, as this is what type of disease was cured by St. Francis. His feast day is July 15. His message resonates today; if we have difficulty just ask Mary for help.