St. Bonaventure got his name (which means "good fortune" in Italian) while still an infant, when St. Francis of Assisi cried out in joy upon foreseeing the baby's future greatness. Bonaventure did not disappoint. He joined the Franciscan order in 1242 and went to Paris to complete his studies. He became friends with St. Thomas Aquinas and was elected master-general of the Franciscans in 1257. He labored tirelessly to unite the factions within the order.
Bonaventure thought that it was the obligation of the Franciscans to preach and give spiritual aid, to priests and lay people alike. He was appointed cardinal-bishop of Albano by Pope Gregory X in 1273, and was instrumental in uniting the Western Church with its Eastern Orthodox counterpart. He is also famous for saving the relics of St. Antony of Padua, and for writing The Life of Saint Francis.