Blessed Bonaventure Tornielli from Forlì, Priest
Forlì, 1411 – Udine, 31 March 1491
Bonaventura Tornielli or Forlì, an was apostolic preacher at the time of Pope Sixtus IV. The proclamation of the Word of God through the human word was his main activity, which insisted especially on the subject of penance. He was born in 1411 in the capital of Romagna and at 37, in 1448, joined the Servants of Mary (which was then the vicar) and was a valente biblista. Despite amasse silence and contemplation was an exceptional speaker. Put to good use his gift, animating missions throughout Italy. He did until his death, at age eightyn in Udine – where he preached for Lent – March 31, 1491. Pius X confirmed his cult in 1911.
Roman Martyrology: At Udine, Blessed Bonaventure of Forlì, a priest of the Servite Order, which preached repentance to the people in various regions of Italy, and died as an octogenarian; his intent was to preach a Lenten service.
Bonaventure was born in Forlì in 1410, probably to the noble family Tornielli, even though this story appears in the ancient biographies only from the mid-seventeenth century.
He heard the call to religious life, and, a great devotee of Our Lady, he entered the convent of the Servants of Mary in his city. His intellectual skills were considerable and in 1448 he was sent to Venice for further studies. For six years study was his principal occupation; he gained the title of master in theology. “Small and thin and haggard in person, but most eloquent science,” says an old record, he then started extraordinary preaching activities, entrusted to the inspired Paul. He gathered in different cities a wide audience, and recommended frequency for the sacraments and charity toward the sick and needy. Despite his appearance and content that was certainly not light and sometimes courageous homilies, he instilled confidence and sympathy, so as to be nicknamed “between painter.” Perhaps for this reason his message was more incisive, urging penance on the faithful who flocked to hear him. Among his famous sermons was one that took place before the Senate of the Venetian Republic, on March 25, 1468 (and 1482) and that of 1488 at the Basilica of St. Marco. Also memorable were his sermons in the cathedral in Florence, at the request of the Senate of the city, and the SS. Annunziata in 1481. Important missions in Bologna and Perugia especially that of 1476, during a terrible plague. Founded in 1487 in Brescia Sant’Alessandro to the Society of SS. Annunziata.
Fruitful was the work of the Blessed in the Order. Prosecutor in 1482, had acquired the convent of Piobbico (Urbino) and in Forlimpopoli. On May 31, 1483, while he was prior of San Marcello in Rome, Pope Sixtus IV gave him the option to withdraw to a hermitage with six companions while retaining the post of apostolic preaching, which enabled him to travel throughout Italy. He loved personal prayer and contemplation, which is often Montesenario retired, on the steps of the Seven Holy Founders, and Montegranaro. It was however important the task that covered the Order and expectations by sacrificing his solo aspirations. He participated, as Provincial of Romagna, the chapter Vetralla of 1485, being invested in the home office to bring the congregation to greater compliance with the Rule. As Vicar General of the Friars dell’Osservanza, the reform movement born in the Order, he was always attentive to remedy the ill-feeling that arose between the brothers. That was acquired in the convent of S. Mary Paradise Clusone (Bergamo). In 1488 he was speaker in the famous Chapter of Bologna, but, in addition to words, was his example to be uplifting: usually refrained from meat and wine, walking barefoot, in any weather.
The indefatigable elder brother accused taken ill during a Lenten preaching in Udine, in the convent of S. Maria delle Grazie. He died on Holy Thursday March 31, 1491, at about eighty years of age. Spontaneous worship around his person was born and a few miracles took place and were recorded by notaries. The faithful kept as relics even the hair of his beard. In order not to contravene the rules church had not yet confirmed the cult, was ordered the killing of the first tomb, somewhat greater than the amount due. In 1507 in Venice to Udine, Lieutenant Andrea Loredan, was blessed by a miracle and two years later, in his return home he wanted to carry the body. It was placed high in the sacristy of the church of the Servi in which was celebrated especially on Holy Thursday. During the Napoleonic suppression in 1810, the brothers had to leave the monastery and the relics were first brought into the private home of a brother, then in the church of Sts Ermagora and Fortunato, in 1908 in the church of Sacred Heart, already Abbazia della Misericordia, and finally, in 1971, returned permanently in the shrine of the Graces of Udine.
The cult “ab immemorial” was confirmed on 6 September 1911 by St. Pius X with the liturgical feast on March 31. Among the ancient pictorial depictions of the Blessed Bonaventura is worth mentioning that the church of the Servants of Orvieto.
Author: Daniele Bolognini
Source: Santi e Beati