Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (10: 24-33) in which Jesus says, ‘If anyone declares themselves for me in the presence of others, I will declare myself for them in the presence of my father in heaven’. Afterwards, Fr Paul shares a little about the life of St Bonaventure whose memorial we celebrate today. Fr Paul says Bonaventure was born in Etruria in about 1218. He became a Franciscan in 1243 and studied philosophy and theology at the University of Paris. He became a famous teacher and philosopher. He was, in fact, a friend and colleague of St Thomas Aquinas. At this time the Franciscan friars were still a new and revolutionary force in the Church, and their radical embracing of poverty and rejection of institutional structures raised suspicion and opposition from many quarters. Bonaventure defended the Franciscan Order and, after he was elected general of the order in 1255, he ruled it with wisdom and prudence. He is regarded as the second founder of the Order. He declined the archbishopric of York in 1265 but was made cardinal bishop of Albano in 1273, dying a year later in 1274. Bonaventure wrote extensively on philosophy and theology, making a permanent mark on intellectual history; but he always insisted that the simple and uneducated could have a clearer knowledge of God than the wise. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1588. On this day, Fr Paul invites us to ask St Bonaventure…pray for us!