St. Bonaventure (+ 1274) was a brilliant Italian Franciscan priest who was one of the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages. He and St. Thomas of Aquinas (+1274) were the two great theologians of scholasticism and both are Doctors of the Church.*

Bonaventure is called the “Giant of Mariology,” and for good reason. His writings about Mary are plentiful, and, for us, thankfully they are still in existence and have not been destroyed, as were his relics by the Huguenots (the French Protestants). He instituted Marian customs which we observe to this day: the Angelus prayer and the Satur-day Mass in Our Lady’s honor. And, it was he who com- posed a “Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” Here is just one psalm: “Why have our enemies raged and our adversaries devised vain things? May thy right hand protect us, O Mother of God: as a line of battle terrible in aspect, confounding and destroying them. Come ye to her, all who labor and are in trouble: and she will give refreshment to your souls. Draw nigh to her in your temptations: and the serenity of her countenance will bring you peace and confidence. Bless her with your whole heart: for the earth is full of her mercy.”

He also wrote: “No one can now enter heaven, unless he pass through Mary as through a gate. For just as God came to us through her, so too we must return to God through her.”

“Oh, how fearful is Mary to the devils!” His Feast Day is: July 15.

*The title Doctor of the Church has only been bestowed on 36 people by the Pope in all of history. It is in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the understanding and interpretation of the Sacred Scripture and the development of Christian doctrine.