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Journey Into God with St. Bonaventure
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Journey into God by St. Bonaventure

Journey  with two experienced retreat directors into the joyful acceptance of goodness that is at the core of Franciscan spirituality. The basic theological concepts found in Saint Bonaventure’s great work are presented in clear and practical language. Each day there are readings from The Journey, reflections by the two authors and exercises.

Jean Gerson (+ 1429), chancellor at the University of Paris, St. Bonaventure’s alma mater, said that the Itinerarium is “more valuable than all literature which had ever been written,” and confessed that he made the Itinerarium his “chosen reading for 30 years, without ever ceasing to obtain great fruit from it.” And more recently, Lawrence Landini OFM (+ 2005) called this writing “a religious classic, theology rooted in experience!” And Zachary Hayes OFM (+ 2014), a Bonaventurian scholar himself, said that “virtually the whole of Bonaventure’s theology is present in the few compact pages of the Itinerarium.

In 1259, St. Bonaventure, wanted “to satisfy the desire of (his) spirit for peace.” So around the time of the thirty-third anniversary of the death of the saint, he wrote: “I was moved by a divine inspiration and withdrew to Mount LaVerna since it was a place of quiet.” And there he experienced his JOURNEY INTO GOD. 

The retreat opens with a presentation on the life of Bonaventure in order to provide a context for reflection on his work. Each of the eight days of the retreat is then dedicated to one of the chapters of THE JOURNEY. Each day is a balance of instruction on the text, periods for reading and personal and community participation in eucharistic liturgy, morning and evening prayer. The liturgical and para-liturgical prayer is especially designed by the presenters to disclose the profound themes in a contemporary experience.

A typical day would be spent in the following manner. After morning prayer, time is provided for reading the chapter of THE JOURNEY under consideration, then, an input session on the same chapter followed by quiet time. Only the Eucharist is celebrated in the afternoon, the remaining time for reflection and quiet. Evening prayer is followed by optional sharing on the chapter of the day. 


See general bibliography for retreatants

See places where we have done the journey retreat over the years ...

Download the meditative dances based on the music by Konrad Raischl and created by Bernadette Raischl which are used during the retreat Journey Into God.



Mount LaVerna, Tuscany, where St. Bonaventure composed this mystical writing in 1259

Practical Applications---
Contributions from students at Canterbury:

 → Antony Jukes OFM: Seven Week Program

 → Tony Haddad OFMCap: Adaptation for Franciscan Formation

 → Clare Knowles FMSL: St. Bonaventure, St. Francis and the Bonum


Comments of retreatants on the JOURNEY

 → Upcoming Journey Retreats


For all those who have journeyed with us since 1988:
Please let us know by
e-mail if you have any experience with pastoral applications or ideas of using the ITINERARIUM. Thank you!