The Beatific Vision of Christ according to the doctrine of St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio handed down in his Commentaria in Quatuor Libros Sententiarum

Alexis Flavian Bugnolo


Bonaventure situates his teaching on the Beatific Vision enjoyed by Christ squarely at the center of his Christology, to affirm the unity and harmony of the authority of the Eternal Word and of Christ the Man.  The central importance of his doctrine on the Beatific Vision has been overlooked in recent studies, hence the necessity of a return to the sources to rediscover the richness of his vision.

Sources and Bibliography

1. Sources

Alexander of Hales, Summa Theologica, Collegii S. Bonaventurae, Ad Claras Aquas (Quaracchi), Florence, Italy, 1948, tome IV, which contains Book III of said opus.

Opera Omnia S. Bonaventurae, Collegii S. Bonaventurae, Ad Claras Aquas (Quaracchi), Florence, Italy, 1882-1891, tomes I-V.

Other than the text published in HTML format (see Bonaventure CD, below), English translations or citations were based on the Latin texts of:

Tomus IV:  IV. Sent. d. XLIX, p. I, a. sole, q. 5:  Quibis potentiis insit actus sive operatio gloriae, pp. 1008-1010.

Tomus V:  Quaestiones Disputatae de Scientia Christi, pp. 1-43.

St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, “Christ the One Teacher of All”, trans. Br. Alexis Bugnolo , The Franciscan Archive, Mansfield, Massachusetts, USA, 09/04/2007 HTML version, on the net at

Bonaventure CD: Vols. I, II, & III, which contains Books I, II, and III of  Master Peter’s Quatuor Libri Sententiarum, and Bonaventure’s Commentaria, on the same: Latin texts of the Quaracchi Edition of Bonaventure’s, Opera Omnia (see above), and English texts trans. Br. Alexis Bugnolo, The Franciscan Archive, Mansfield, Massachusetts, USA, 2013.

Citations taken from Master Peter Lombard’s Quatuor Libri Sententiarum:

III. Sent. d. 13.

Citations taken from St. Bonaventure’s Commentaria:

II. Sent., d. 10, a. 3, q. 2:  Whether the same locution can be from God and from an Angel?

II. Sent. d. 23, a. 2, q. 3:  Whether Adam in the state of innocence cognized God thus, as God is cognized in the state of glory?

III. Sent. d. 1, a. 2, q. 2:  What was the chief reason for the Incarnation?

III. Sent. d. 2, a. 2, q. 2:  Whether Christ assumed a rational soul?

III. d. 11, a. 1, q. 2:  Whether Christ’s predestination in respect of our predestination is the exemplary form?

III. d. 12, a. 1, q. 1:  Whether it was fitting that the Son of God assume human nature from the mass of perdition?

III. Sent., d. 13:  On Christ’s Human Nature in regard to its fullness of grace and wisdom, treated together, throughout.

III. Sent., d. 14:  On the fullness of knowledge, which Christ’s Soul had, in particular, throughout.

III. Sent. d. 15, a. 2, q. 1:  Whether Christ had ignorance in His rational power?

2. Bibliography

Denzinger, Henry, The Sources of  Catholic Dogma, (13th ed. of his Enchiridion Symbolorum), trans. Roy. J. Deferrari, Loreto Publications, Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, USA, 2007 reprint.

Dizionario Bonaventuriano, a cura di Ernesto Caroli, Editrici Francescane, Padova, 2008: Battaglia, Vincenzo:  “Iesus Christus”, pp. 506-517; Costanzo Cargnoni, “Vita e cronologia di san Bonaventura”, pp. 67-87; Malaguti, Maurizio: “Cognitio”, pp. 242-249; Marinese, Pietro: “Opere di Bonaventura”, pp. 89-106; Poppi, Antontio:  “Beatitudo”, pp. 212-220; De Maio, Andrea:  “Scientia”, pp. 701-717.

Du Cange, Glossarium Mediae et Infimae Latinitatis, tom. I, ed. Léopold Favre, Niort, France, 1883.

Ott, Ludwig, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Tan Books & Publishers, Rockford, Illinois, 1974; this work is a reprint of the 4th edition of the English translation by James Canon Bastible, D. D., published by Mercer Press, Ltd., Cork, Ireland, 1960, which itself is derived from the German original, Gundriss der Katholischen Dogmatick, Verlag Herder, Freiburg, 1952.

Schrader, Dylan, “When did Jesus know that he is God?:  A Brief Summary of the Catholic Answer”, PDF version, on the net at, accessed 13/04/2013.




Bonaventure; Christology; beatific vision; Christ's Scientia; Christ's magisterium; Spirituality.

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