"If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel."

Thomas á Kempis

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"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"

St Augustine

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"The one thing necessary which Jesus spoke of to Martha and Mary consists in hearing the word of God and living by it."

R. Garrigou-Lagrange, OP

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St Bonaventure  (1221 - 1274)




by St Bonaventure


This translation of St. Bonaventura's "Itinerarium Mentis ad Deum" is addressed to undergraduate students of the history of philosophy who may wish to read a work of a great medieval Franciscan thinker. I have used the Latin text of the Franciscan Fathers contained in "Tria Opuscula" (Quaracchi), fifth edition, 1938. Biblical quotations are taken from the Douay Bible, since that is a translation of the Vulgate, which, it goes without saying, St. Bonaventura used. In order to make the translation more readable, I have taken the liberty of breaking up a few of the longer sentences and once in a while have inserted explanatory words and phrases in square brackets. In two places, indicated in footnotes, I have made slight emendations to the text. Students who approach this work for the first time would do well to familiarize themselves with Giotto's painting of St. Francis receiving the stigmata, for the "Itinerarium" could almost be called a meditation upon the vision there depicted.

My deepest thanks are given to the Reverend George Glanzman, S. J., who made a painstaking comparison of this translation with the Latin original and suggested several revisions which improved my first draft. I have accepted all of his suggestions gratefully but, of course, I alone am responsible for the version as it now appears. Any errors in the translation, footnotes, and introduction must be laid at my door.

G. B.