“One becomes holy only by doing common things well and being constantly faithful in small things.”
St. Bonaventure (c. 1218-1274) was minister general of the Franciscans in a critical time for the order, just a few decades after the death of St. Francis. A philosopher and theologian he was a contemporary of St. Thomas Aquinas. He was made a bishop and cardinal shortly before his death at the Council of Lyons where he was influential in the effort to unite the Western Church with the Orthodox Church, a union which lasted only a few years. He was named a doctor of the church of his writings, particularly on the mystical life.
But despite his education he seems to have preserved the simplicity and humility of a “lesser brother.” It is said that when the pope’s representatives arrived with the cardinal’s hat they had to wait until Bonaventure finished washing the dishes.