Book of Blessings


Born in Italy as Giovanni di Fidanza around the year 1217, St. Bonaventure entered the new religious order founded by St. Francis of Assisi called the “Friars Minor” around the year 1243, about twenty years after Francis’ death. Bonaventure studied theology under the famous Alexander of Hales and became a professor at the greatest school of theology in the medieval world, the University of Paris where he taught alongside St. Thomas Aquinas, the “Angelic Doctor.” St. Bonaventure’s theology is always written with holy passion, in the tradition of St. Augustine, and always directed towards increasing the depth and intensity of the spiritual life. Because of his burning zeal, Bonaventure became known as the “Seraphic Doctor.” The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium), one of the four major documents of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) mandated a complete revision of liturgical ceremonies of the Roman or Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, including not only the Mass, but also the various blessings of the Church. These services of blessing are known as the sacramentals. Their revision was not complete until 1989. They were published under the title The Book of Blessings. One of the notable things about these blessing services is that many of them can be conducted by lay people, though some are reserved to priests and deacons and others to bishops alone. A very portable version of this was published as The Shorter Book of Blessings.Biography by Dr. Italy