St Bonaventure was a Franciscan monk who eventually became a Bishop and Cardinal of the Church. He began his studies at the University of Paris in 1235 at the age of eighteen. Eight years later he joined the Franciscan order and continued his studies, receiving his Doctorate in theology in 1254. During this time, he became the Regent General of the Franciscans at the University of Paris. In 1257, he was elected Minister General of the whole Franciscan order.
The Franciscans were in crisis and it was his job to bring peace and stability to this colossal (30,000 friars) but fledgling religious order. He did this with great humility and enabled the Franciscan order to become the dynamic and powerful force for change that they are remembered for today. St Bonaventure was made a Bishop and Cardinal in 1273 and then appointed the Bishop of Lyon in 1274, the year of his death.