Franciscan saints & blesseds: July 2013 Archives


One of the famous works of Saint Bonaventure's is his Journey of the Mind to God. You see it in many places for those wanting a glimpse into this significant medieval thinker. It was in the Roman Divine Office of Readings. We always need an insight or two into contemplation, what it means, how it exists, and so forth. There is no exhausting one's search into understanding mystical prayer.

I want you to listen to Veronica Scarisbrick's interview with Franciscan Father Rick S. Martignetti who works in Rome and has authored of Saint Bonaventure's Tree of Life: Theology of the Mystical Journey (Grottaferrata, 2004). It is a study of Bonaventure's understanding on prayer and life in the paschal mystery. I found Scarisbrick's interview both delightful and helpful.

Christ is both the way and the door. Christ is the staircase and the vehicle, like the throne of mercy over the Ark of the Covenant, and the mystery hidden from the ages. A man should turn his full attention to this throne of mercy, and should gaze at him hanging on the cross, full of faith, hope and charity, devoted, full of wonder and joy, marked by gratitude, and open to praise and jubilation. Then such a man will make with Christ a pasch, that is, a passing-over. Through the branches of the cross he will pass over the Red Sea, leaving Egypt and entering the desert. There he will taste the hidden manna, and rest with Christ in the sepulchre, as if he were dead to things outside. He will experience, as much as is possible for one who is still living, what was promised to the thief who hung beside Christ: Today you will be with me in paradise.

JSerra.jpgOne the outstanding missionaries in the USA, is Blessed Junipero Serra. A Franciscan, who was born in 1713 and ordained priest in 1737 taught theology and philosophy at the University of Padua, followed the direction of his superiors to me a missionary in the new world; his first stop was Mexico City before going up the west coast of the USA founding 21 of the missions, the first of which was 1769 when he was 56. The foundations were not merely places of prayer, but a true Christian society. 

November marks the 300th anniversary of Serra's birth.

As Archbishop Chaput said last week when he was reflecting on Blessed Junipero, "Christian faith is not a habit. It's not a useful moral code. It's not an exercise in nostalgia. It's a restlessness, a consuming fire in the heart to experience the love of Jesus Christ and then share it with others --or it's nothing..."

This, I believe, is what set Serra's heart on fire; this is what sets my heart on fire for Christ and His Church today.

Blessed Junipero Serra, pray for us.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Franciscan saints & blesseds category from July 2013.

Franciscan saints & blesseds: June 2013 is the previous archive.

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