St. Bonaventure's death


St. Bonaventure died while attending the Council of Lyons. Does anyone know what caused his death?

(Brother JR, you out there? ;))


The answer to your question is a complex one. Witnesses said that Bonnie was poisoned, as evidenced by the fact tha the was young and healthy before he went to sleep the nigh before. Either he suffered food poisoning, which was common in those days or someone poisoned him, which was also common.

I’ll enumerate some causes that could have a motive for someone or some group. Let’s look at Bonnie’s life in sequence.

Bonaventure advises the College of Cardinals to elect Theobold Visconti to succeed Clement IV. Visconti is unanimously elected and takes name Gregory X

Named bishop and Cardinal. He declines. Pope Gregory X orders him to accept under penalty of excommunication. He is appointed Cardinal-Bishop of Albano; but Bonaventure remains in Florence as a brother.

Pope Gregory orders Bonaventure to write the agenda for the XIV Ecumenical Council

Bonaventure sends friars to Constantinople to work out treaty with the Eastern Church. Many Orthodox Churches return to full communion with Rome as Byzantine or Eastern. Rite Uniat Churches to this day: Pope Gregory approves.

Besides the above, Bonaventure was co-chair of theology at the University of Paris with Aquinas.

While in Constantinople, Bonaventure orders the same diplomatic brothers to put the final details on the treaty with the Muslims in Turkey, Syria, Jordan and today’s Israel. The firs treaty had been agreed to by St. Fancis, but it had not been recorded excpet with a few words in Br. Pacificos memoirs. When it is written this time, Bonaventure agrees to several key points.

  1. Franciscans will not try to convert the Muslims, as long as it is prohibited by law and places the Muslims in danger.

  2. Fanciscans were free to serve the Christians in those places out in the open.

3.; Franciscans agreed to serve the needs of the poor, but would not coerce ehm to become Catholicin exchange for favors.

  1. It is here when Francis’ famous comment was first quoeted, “Preach always. When necessary use words.”

On the inside, Bonaventure also made more enemies. He had given up the role of the bishop, but had happily taken up his protection of the Franciscan order as a lay order. He rewrites the constitutions in proper Latin to remind the bishops and popes that the offices in the order are equally open to the ordainedn and the non clerical friars according to the mind of Francis. He reminds everyone that the brothers or friars have equal rights and equal dutie in the order and the Church. Being a priest and being the kitchen help are ministerial roles, taught St. Francis in his rule for the hermits. This is carried out after Francis dies. When Bonnie becomes Minister General, he makes sure that it is placed into Franciscan law. The Holy Father approved and it remains in effect to this day.

Some may have been very jealous or upset that such a young man could achieve so much influence in the Church and introduce several changes: treaty with Muslims, observance of First Saturdays, equalizing all members within a religious order and shifting the focus of the order from ordained ministry to life as brothers to each other and to all men, and co-chared the school of theology at the University of Paris along with Thomas Aquinas. He spent the last several years of his life, reflecting on the relationship between Francis of Asssisi and Christ.

During a time when people saw conspiracies every where and there actually were, Bonaventure would have stood out, especially in his relationship wih popes and “pagan.”

I hope this helps to get this conversation going.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:


So, he didn’t die from holding his bowels for too long?


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