Date of Award

Spring 1933

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Foreign Languages and Literatures


An enumeration of the glories of the Franciscan Order would be entirely inadequate without mentioning the name of John of Fidenza, or Bonaventure, the Seraphic Doctor, as he is more widely known. Although much of Bonaventure's time was taken up with other important and arduous duties, still he left to the Church many volumes treating of dogmatic and mystical theology. Furthermore, his numerous occupations did not prevent him from writing a little work especially for a convent of Poor Clares, entitled "De Perfectione Vitae ad Sorores". This opusculum is of particular interest in that it reveals better than most of his purely theological works could, in the personality of the saintly writer some very human traits, which make him peculiarly lovable to us. For instance, with admirable judgement, he warns the nuns, among other things, against what he considers the besetting sin of women, viz., talkativeness. It has been a pleasure for the writer of this thesis to translate the above-mentioned work and to glean from its pages the ardent and beautiful thoughts of a saint with reference to the religious life of sisters. It has, moreover, been an added pleasure to delve into the mysteries of Bonaventure's prose style, and to prove that he shared the belief that when one was writing about God or the things of God, the beauties of language and style were not to be despised. May this thesis move those who may chance to read it, to an interest in the works of the Franciscan Seraphic Doctor, Bonaventure.