This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Friday, October 26, 2012

October 26 -- Blessed Bonaventure of Potenza

"Meh," said the beatus.
Some four centuries after Saint Bonaventure reorganized the Franciscan Order, a young man from the Kingdom of Naples entered that order and accepted that saint's name.  Different clerics excel at different virtues; the latter Bonaventure seemed blessed with an abundance of humility.  His trust in and obedience to superiors would seem out of place -- perhaps even faults -- in the twenty-first century, but in his time they were recognized as virtuous. 

In time he was offered promotions within the Order.  As might be consistent with his humility, he declined them.  He continued to receive offers -- he continued to decline them.  At length he was prevailed upon to become the Novice Master, and in that role, he sought to impress the virtue of humility on all his charges. 

When a plague broke out, he tended the sick and comforted the dying without fear of getting ill himself.  Unlike so many other European saints, his confidence was rewarded.  His continuing health allowed him to continue serving the ill, and following the end of the outbreak, his fellow monks. 

It is tough to make much of so humble a friar.  In fact, it is surprising that he was beatified.  One wonders what drew Pope Pius VI's attention to him in 1775 when he was beatified.  He does not even have an epically humble story, like Alfonsus Rodriguez.  But it is good to see so ordinary a life exalted.  If nothing else, it is a good reminder that God's priorities are not the things that get you a reality TV show of your own. 

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