Displaying the Body of Saint Bonaventure,
Painted by Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664)
Painted in 1629,
Oil on canvas
© Louvre Museum, Paris

Displaying the Body of Saint Bonaventure,
Painted by Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664)
Painted in 1629,
Oil on canvas
© Louvre Museum, Paris

Gospel of 15 July 2021

Feast of Saint Bonaventure

Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus said, 'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.'

Reflection on the Painting

Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Bonaventure, Franciscan theologian and philosopher. Our painting by Francisco de Zurbarán depicts Saint Bonaventure lying in state, holding a crucifix. Zurbarán painted a series on Saint Bonaventure. Our painting is the last in the series. On the left the two figures holding a conversation are James I of Aragon and Pope Gregory X. Bonaventure was instrumental in procuring the election of Pope Gregory X, who then insisted on Bonaventure's presence at the Second Council of Lyon in 1274. After Bonaventure's significant contributions led to a union of the Greek and Latin churches, Saint Bonaventure became seriously ill whilst the Council was still taking place and he died (some say in suspicious circumstances). 

Saint Bonaventure is by many regarded as the second founder of the Franciscan Order. Like his model, Saint Francis, Saint Bonaventure put Jesus at the very centre of everything: his theological, philosophical and pastoral works all revolved around the person of Christ. Pope Benedict a few years ago said about him that 'the whole of Saint Bonaventure's thinking was profoundly Christocentric'. 

Today's Gospel reading starts with the words 'Come to me'. Jesus invites us all the time to come to Him, to get close to Him. Saint Bonaventure fully accepted this invitation… 

Share this Gospel Reading

Did you like this Gospel reading and art reflection?

Join in the discussion about this artwork & Gospel reading

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Readings related to Matthew 11:28-30

13 December 2019

Matthew 11:16-19

Children playing pipes

29 April 2021

Matthew 11:25-30

Feast of Saint Catherine of Siena

2 November 2020

Matthew 11:25-30

All Souls' Day

11 December 2022

Matthew 11:2-11

John in his prison sent his disciples to Jesus

Join our community

In addition to receiving our Daily Gospel Reading and Art Reflection, signing up for a free membership allows you to: 

The mission of Christian Art is to offer a daily Gospel Reading paired with a related work of art and a short reflection. Our goal is to help people grow closer to God through the magnificent pairing of art and the Christian faith.


Join over 70,000 people who receive our daily Gospel Reading and Art Reflection

Skip to content