Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

S. Bonventura - ora pro nobis

Okay, so his feast day isn't until Friday, but we kept it today, a ferial day, since we don't have Mass on Friday. Being a Third Order Franciscan gives me an affinity for franciscan saints! To the left is a statue of S. Bonaventure from St. Bonaventure's Monastery in Detroit, home of the late venerable Solanus Casey. www.solanuscenter.org/

Bonaventure was born around 1221, and having been healed from a childhood disease by St. Francis, this baby baptised John was blessed by Francis with the name "Good Luck" - Bona Ventura. He entered the Franciscans, and studied in Paris, receiving his Doctorate with his friend and fellow founder of Scholastic Theology, S. Thomas Aquinas of the Dominican Order.

He became Minister General of the Franciscan Order at the age of 36, wrote the official biography of S. Francis, and codified the rule and constitution at a time when the Order was very divided on the interpretation of both.

The Anglican Breviary records this interesting story about him, as witness to his humility in devotion to even the most menial tasks. "It is said that when the Cardinal's Hat was brought to him by papal envoys, he was washing dishes, and therefore asked them to hang it on a bush outside the kitchen door" p.1318.

He died in 1274 at 53 years of age.

More detailed information can be found at