Bonaventure was born near Viterbo in 1221. Nothing is known of his youth. He joined the Franciscans (Friars Minor) in 1238 or 1243 and studied in Paris. He taught Scripture and theology at the University of Paris until 1255, when opposition from secular professors drove the friars from the university. He received his doctorate in theology in 1257 along with St. Thomas Aquinas. That same year, Bonaventure was elected Minister General of the Friars Minor and calmed the dispute between strict and more lax segments of the order with firm discipline and clearer regulations. He wrote a new life of St. Francis which became the official biography of the saint. In 1273 he was appointed cardinal-bishop of Albano and he helped plan the fourteenth General Council at Lyons. The saint died July 16, 1274 at Lyons. Bonaventure was a brilliant theologian and philosopher, who wrote extensively. He was canonized in 1482 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1588. Bonaventure is often called the Seraphic Doctor. His feast day is July 15.