"To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. "

Thomas á Kempis

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"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "

St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"O Lord, my God, who will seek you with simple and pure love, and not find that you are all one can desire, for you show yourself first and go out to meet those who seek you? "

St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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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.