Epiphany: 2014 Patron and Virtue

I mentioned in my Epiphany post for O Night Divine that my family, following the customs of a number of religious orders, chooses at random a particular saint and virtue for the New Year.  Both are opportunities to learn, to imitate, and to grow.  This year, I have St. Bonaventure to take as my model and invoke, and I was given the virtue of continence to foster.

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St. Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church, feast day July 15

- Known as the “Seraphic Doctor”.

- Born A.D 1231, at Bagnorea in Tuscany, he entered, at the age of twenty, the Order of Saint Francis. He studied and afterwards taught at Paris, in company of Saint Thomas Aquinas. After being General of his Order, he was created by Pope Gregory X Cardinal Bishop of Albano. He died during the General Council of Lyons (A.D. 1274), and was canonised two hundred years later, becoming a Doctor of the Church a century later.

- Besides noble Commentaries on Holy Scripture and on the work of the Master of Sentences (the theological and philosophical text-book in use in his age), we have from the pen of Saint Bonaventure many ascetical and mystical treatises, and a touchingly beautiful Life of Saint Francis of Assisi, the Founder of his Order.

- Clement IV had chosen him for the Archbishopric of York; and only the humility of the Saint hindered the English people from being able to number the “Seraphic Doctor” among their national glories.  (from the Patron Saints Index)

Virtue of Continence (fruit of the Holy Spirit)

i. The virtue which restrains the will from consenting to strong movements of sexual desire.

ii.  The abstinence, temporary or perpetual, voluntary or imposed by circumstances, from marital intercourse.  If voluntary, it must be agreed upon by both the people concerned.  The word is sometimes loosely used to express that chastity which must be observed by the unmarried.  (A Catholic Dictionary, ed. Donald Atwater)